Thanks BlackBerry, but you can keep BBM to yourselves [Rant]



Being a weekend blogger on Phandroid can often feel lonely. The rest of the team is usually out having fun, catching movies, getting drunk or whatever. They are probably making fun of poor old me in their secret Hangouts group that I’m not allowed to be a part of while I toil away, looking for scraps of news here and there. But I do it because I like it, I do it because when I was one of you, I never wanted to wait until Monday. Also, I do it because I kind of need the money.

Every once in a while, though, my job is made easier by a rare weekend announcement or a release. It’s my opportunity to be the star, to be the one all of you rely upon. And today was supposed to be one of those days, with BlackBerry Messenger finally being available for download on Android after years of rumors. I’ve been sitting prepared for nearly seven hours to get the app and get an in-depth review ready, potentially driving thousands to download the app>

And what do you give me in return, BlackBerry? NOTHING! Zilch, nada, just a few tweets asking me and the other few thousand BBM fans celebrating the day they’ll never have to buy another BlackBerry device again to “be patient”. Patient for what, BlackBerry? For you to realize that one of the guys you fired wiped away your apks and all your source code?

Look, I really don’t want to make fun of the company. Despite all their problems, I don’t forget that they played an important role in building the smartphone category years ago, and no company ever manages to create such a loyal following without having gotten something right. Having said that, with nothing but bad news coming out of Waterloo recently, they really needed to get this release right.

Sadly, so far, it has been a complete sham.

Raveesh Bhalla

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  1. I just want a unified messaging platform that everyone is on (and ideally defaults to SMS when one or both are away from data). I could care less who makes it as long as it works and isn’t a complete piece-o-shit.

    1. The problem is getting everyone on it.

      1. yeah. If Hangouts gets the iMessage-like SMS abilities for when sending to non-Hangouts people, they have a chance. Then they can also make it the default messenger.

        Pretty much, if Apple made iMessages for more devices, they would truly dominate device-to-device communication.

        1. A closed source group would not distribute their applications/work into what they would deem an “Uncontrolled environment”. If unified messaging comes from anyone, it has to be Google. They have the most services, they have the largest mobile OS, and a great fanbase willing to make the push toward unified messaging. If you don’t have a big name, you won’t become the end all be all to texting. It’s like expecting Kik to make the change…. I don’t want to use Kik lol

    2. GroupMe does exactly that (they even have a Web interface so you can message on the computer)

      1. Looks nice, but like Matthew said below, it’s hard to get everyone on it.

      2. group me is also a SERIOUS battery drain. if you don’t FC it, your battery will still be drained even with display off.

        1. Weird. Groupme doesn’t drain my battery at all

    3. the closest thing to it is today ChatON, an app/program for practically ALL of the major platforms plus many of the minor ones… a pity few of my contacts are on it so what I use is, in order of importance, Whatsapp, Viber, Skype.

      1. yep. For me it’s sms then kik then maybe facebook messages. blah.

    4. It should have been Google Hangouts (and still could be)

      1. I hope so. They are pushing it, but they need to make it the default messenger and let me texts anyone (like iMessages). They are cross-platform, just need those last two things!

  2. Failure is their trademark

    1. actually, no… Blackberry kinda owned the world before iPhone came about. They made a lot of money and sold a lot of devices.

      1. Actually, yes. A company who cut 4500 jobs and is about to have a 1B loss in a market it used to be the leader is not my definition of a successful company. Also, If we speak about their new entity blackberry ltd, my statement isn’t false.

        1. Ebb and flow. Nothing last forever. While it’s true (barring a miracle) they are nearing the end, failure is most certainly not their “trademark”.

          1. Well you’re right about that. I never meant that it’s their actual trademark, it was only a metaphor trying to describe the multiple failed they had in the past year. The BBM apk. release is a good exemple.

          2. and this is why the world is completely screwed

  3. already released for iOS, download it here! Android version coming in few hours!

  4. “For you to realize that one of the guys you fired wiped away your apks and all your source code?”

    What exactly are you referring to? Do you have a source for this information?

    1. Ha ha. Mate, you need to work on your sense of humour. I suspect he was not talking literally…

      1. you should never underestimate blackberry’s ability to fail

  5. I agree with others. Your rant was amusing but you didn’t actually explain what happened. I’m guessing that Blackberry didn’t deliver BBM for android today as promised?

    1. I’m wondering exactly the same thing. Being outside the US makes it even harder to figure out what’s going on.

  6. Hey, brightside? They gave you something to write about. Even if it’s less than pleasant…

  7. I dont get it. But I found BBM for both OS here

    1. Stop misleading people with lies. It’s out for iOS but not us, hence this article you just read.

      1. Lies? I am using right now. If you have try it, don’t talk

        1. Try again, it’s not official. And because of those leaked versions we’re not going to get the official one. So thanks.

  8. That huge blackberry logo on BBM disgusts me.

  9. Wow man you read my blog reading mind. I hope we do see a review to see if I should even bother downloading.

    Side note, I forgot my sign in after… 4 yrs of not using the service. Brings back techy memories.

    1. will do, track, too, just in case they ever decide to do some useful work

  10. I never had a Blackberry, so maybe it was really useful for those who used it back in the day. On my Galaxy Nexus, I use email, or Google Voice if the person I’m sending a message to, don’t have data on their phone.

  11. SIDE NOTE: Recently I was surprised at how well Twitter via their DMs worked as a “almost universal messaging app”. Was able to keep a text conversation with someone over my app and at… worked surprisingly well.

    And, if I’m not mistaken, doesn’t twitter work on dumbphones some?? Can’t remember..

    1. Twitter needs to allow those receiving DMs to be able to respond to OP even if he/she doesn’t follow them. The number of times that has been a problem for me is insane

      1. I actually like that you have to each be following each other… I don’t want strangers texting me and I don’t need strangers DMing me, you know?

        1. but that’s the thing, if they’re able to DM me (because I follow them) I should have the right to DM them back. Even if it’s sort of a temporary token allowing me to do so to keep the conversation flowing.

          1. To me, only mutual follows should be able to DM. But yeah, if they leave it like that, a DM from them should allow for a conversation.

    2. “dumbphones”

      How so?

      1. yeah, I don’t have a dumbphone, so I’m not sure how good or capable it is, but twitter works by SMS to some degree –

  12. I honestly dont know anyone with a Blackberry. Every time I see its coming to Android I think “Oh cool” but then I remember that its completely useless for me.

    1. I know a couple, but (anecdotally) I see tons of them still in NYC on the subway and out and about. Maybe it’s because here everyone is so public.

      1. Or because NYC is the business capital of the world and the companies force the employees to use BB. I was on the N train and I asked one of the BB users (a bold user) why he still had that particular phone. His answer, his boss doesnt allow BYOD.

        1. Certainly part of it, but plenty of tourist still wandering around with them too. BlackBerry ain’t dead yet, but my guess it’s on it’s last year. New iPhones out, Android becoming ubiquitous world-wide, and even Nokias scooping a few people up. Add to that the BYOD trend in business….. almost done.

          But yeah…. whenever I see someone (especially a “non-business person”) whip one out, I’m always like, “huh.”

  13. This is nota fault to BB, it’s fault of Google the app is ready they haven’t wanted up in his store… I think that is a bad play of Google

    1. Say that again so it makes sense.

  14. Whats app works just as well or better the bbm so why use bbm. Most my friends in finance have the bbm feature turned off because its just one more thing they have to store by law. Second no one uses bbm. Whats everyones favorite messaging app I actually enjoy whats app over google hangouts but hangouts is cool in its own way.

    1. Well considering many times I have received a message on whatsapp a day or two after it was sent, or I’ll get a single check and never see the double check…I think BBM is far superior…it’s actually more like instant messaging than texting, you have delivered/read receipts and it will eventually have full functionality on iOS and android (voice/video calling)

      1. why dont just use skype ? or facebook,

  15. Weird.

  16. I got tired of waiting so I went to XDA and got the apk. It’s up and running on my phone.

    1. And now they’re removing it and not bringing official one out as well.


  18. Here BBM for Android that I shared on my dropbox:
    please report if this is works as well on your own.

  19. this is why journalism is dead, we have posts from people who know nothing, ranting to the world and get paid peanuts if at all, and it goes into the world as if it is important, god help us all

    1. Journalism is dying for a lot more reasons than simply the existence of people like me. I actually worked as a journalist for sometime while earning my engineering degree because that was my preferred career path. Having seen how most media organizations work today, I realized there was no point continuing as my conscience wouldn’t have allowed it. Blogging is my way of satisfying the writing urge in me.

      Also, even if anyone has a problem with me posting rants, I think I do deserve credit for always clearly marking my posts as Rants, Opinions or Rumors (like all of us do at Phandroid) so as to not link-bait you into reading something.

      1. problem is that is all anybody produces anymore is rants and opinions, facts? who needs those? Also if your rant had any substance to spark some sort of debate, then we could talk about the merits of your so called rant.

        1. If you don’t need a rant, don’t click on an article with a clear indicator on it that says it’s a rant

          1. Some people are just trolls. Don’t feed them and they’ll eventually go away.

          2. Says the troll

      2. Your articles are always a good read, I for one appreciate your honesty.

        1. “honesty”

    2. Don’t read it then.

      1. don’t reply then

      2. sorry but he makes a good point. There are hundreds of articles out there. if you don’t like this article from this person then read another article.

  20. I have learnt not to trust anything Blackberry says. I have a BB PlayBook minus BB10.

  21. Why don’t you spend the weekend shoving your NSA infiltrated Google devices up your ass where they belong Raveesh

    1. you really deserve to have your mouth washed with soap, kiddo

  22. Well you should take up drinking cause believe me there are no brain cells in you for them to be killed by alcohol. Rubbish article and rant.

    1. Funny, I thought the same about your comment.

      1. Ooooo apply water to the burn area

    2. Sounds to me like you may need a friend. Its ok, everything will be ok

  23. This would have been cool two or three years ago but I don’t even know anyone who owns a BlackBerry now.

  24. I don’t know what’s up with all the haters, Raveesh, but I enjoy the majority of your articles; opinion or otherwise.

  25. Just gonna file this one under who gives a crap

    1. Because of you idiots the BBM is delayed. Go to bb blog. They said they’re removing app from iPhone and its not coming to Android. For now.

      1. Idiots? Why?

        1. BB is saying because the working version was leaked before official one, they ran into problems. Read the bb blog.

          1. Yeah I saw it but I just think that’s bb’s fault for letting itleak, not their fans. They should have released the official version anyway and let everyone know the unofficial version is causing issues and they need to update it. I’m betting the issue they found is in the official version too and that’s why they didn’t release it. you don’t piss on all ur customers just bc a few people got excited and tried out an unofficial version

      2. Doesn’t matter. All illegitimate accounts will be deleted.

        1. People who have downloaded final release can use it. The ones who haven’t downloaded can’t use it.

      3. Hey BB let it leak, that’s not the users fault you dunce lol

      4. Oh my, whatever will we do? Those inexplicably longing for yet another messaging platform will be… oh, never mind. Why does ANYONE care if this is EVER released?

        1. i dont care but i never used bbm before i was looking forward to this release. i wanted to see what the hype was all about before i uninstalled this app. hangouts is better anyway

          1. Wait… you’ve never used BBM before, but you already know that hangouts is better??? Are you psychic?

          2. I don’t have to use it to know hangouts is better. What do bbm have that hangouts don’t that’s so special?

          3. How would I know? I’m not the one making claims.

        2. Why are you reading this post?

      5. we are not idiots, the idiots here are the BBM group who keep playing on your intelligence including the general smartphones communities intelligence, no offence taken for your abuse we just want you to be informed and the info posted by us is real so dig it or beat it!

    2. this is the reason why there are so many fake apps. Why would you post this? Instead be smart and wait for the play store version. dummy

  26. got everyone I care to chat with using Hangouts, and none have a BB so the app is about a year too late now, a year ago this would have revolutionized inter OS conversations, but now it’s just a relic, like RIM

    1. Some people need a secure messaging apps not for “LOL OMG cya @6” type conversations but for discussions of business decisions that must be kept secret.

      1. This is the same company that gave the Saudis and who knows what other Countries backdoor access to the “secure” servers, or are conveniently forgetting that tidbit? BB messaging is as secure as texting is now a days

        1. I’m not talking about secure messaging for people who want to commit illegal activities. The government will always find a way.

          1. If a back door is present, it’s exploitable. If someone knows there’s a back door, they’ll eventually find it and break it one way or another. And unless that person is an idiot, they’ll keep it quiet and happily screw over everyone who thinks they’re safe.

      2. if you want a secure conversation, leave your phone at home and meet with the person, at least if you live in usa,

        1. Or you can use BBM

          1. I wouldn’t put too much faith in that.

          2. bbm is no longer secure. Even though its encrypted the nsa has the codes to be able to get into it if they want. If you want to be secure, get on a secure line phone call or meet in person. Or try wickr messaging.

  27. I cant believe blackberry is blaming the community for the delay. 10 hours of no updates or explanations and then told it’s our fault that blackberry cant meet its own hyped launch date. The audacity blows my mind. You had no anticipation of the amount of android users who wanted this and I’m guessing you don’t have the backend to support this many users. I’m hoping that’s the answer and not that you are acting like children and delaying the android version because someone leaked the app and upstaged your big launch event. Make sure you add an extra number or two to the ‘official’ launch version if and when it comes out. Hate to see the blowback if it ends up being same version people have now. I’ve been such a staunch supporter of RIM and as a company, today you have piled bad mistake on top of bad mistake that I am really let down. Shame on you.

  28. In other news: Blackberry to no longer sell devices to consumers. Cuts staff by 40%. It’s over.

    1. They are being acquired for 4.7 billion.

  29. Whatever. BlackBerry let that apk leak on purpose. Demand was ridiculously high and they couldn’t handle it.

  30. Christ, even as a long time android user, I have to say the total lack of anyone willing to criticise the Play Store for allowing ‘companies’ to upload adware/review needing/game downloading filled apps pretending to be by BlackBerry, using the names BlackBerry and BBM, and the company logo as well, is ridiculous.

    Yes, BlackBerry clearly did something wrong in all this, but, a lot of it has been made worse by the influx of fakes on the store, something google should really have been able to take care of quicker. I’m not saying Apple have the right Idea with their system, but, something needs to be done, as it makes the store look a joke frankly.

    1. Exactly instead of making an article and crying about how bb ruined your day write an article about how shockingly easy it is to get a fake app that is impersonating another company only the play store so easy.. that is much bigger than a delay of an app. Google are not exactly perfect are they, sometimes you have to wait weeks after google have started to release there app updates… guess there are blind fanboys in all camps..

      1. If you fools couldn’t determine which App is from Blackberry, when they haven’t had an App in either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store before, I feel sorry for you. Besides do you read the reviews on an App before downloading it? How about actually reading the disclosure agreements? Naw….. that’d be too easy! :DDD

        Personally I’ve never had a problem with any downloads from Play Store, but I have had problems with Apps I either have downloaded from a 3rd party Store or off the net and side loaded them!

        Which you can do on Apple’s gear, but you need to do it on a jailbroken device. At least with Android Play Store, they allow us to make the ultimate decision on whether we get duped by the App Store or by an unscrupulous App developer 1st party or not! …..because in Apple’s App Store they have far more fart apps than Android, because all you have to do is game the system and pay your money to get Apps approved w/ a big part of your profits going to APPLE!

        With this BBM App….. it’s not whether it will be well developed. It’s a matter of actually having enough feature difference to stand out from all the competition. Which right now, at least on Android there are 100’s if not 1000’s of messenger Apps just as good if not better! …..and that’s exactly what why I’ve only tried other company’s products and like a boomerang, always return to Google to give me the right to make my own CHOICES!!! ;-P

        1. Hey am with you people should use common sense when downloading anything but normal people who are not in the know how like us will just download anything from theplay store because they trust google and that it’s a legit place. It’s like if we go to a official designer shop we expect everything in there to be real and legit because hey it’s from a trusted shop and the play store is the same.. it’s a legit place to buy and download apps. Seriously do you really believe that it’s ok to have dozens of fake apps and in this case a copyrighted named app like bb.. we should want this sort off things not happening and if we just blame the users for everything then we might aswel tell google hey just let any crap on the play store you don’t need to make sure if those apps are ok. The fact is google should be making sure these fake apps Etc are not on there store in the 1st place.. it’s as simple as that really..if you think it’s ok to have fake apps then fine but it doesn’t look good for google or Android. I too have not had any issues but doesnt mean people that are not on sites and forums like us have not.

    2. Very true. That is one thing i really hate about the play store. apple has google beat on this. There needs to be some type of security check when you say your app is coming from a major company and yet its registered to some random gmail account. Google should be smarter then that.

  31. Bit of childish attitude wouldn’t you say

  32. You waited 5 years already, what’s another 5 years? You’ve gotten by without it. At this point it’s useless. Even if it comes tomorrow I don’t think RIM aka Blackberry is capable of keeping the servers going for very long anyway. What a clusterf%&*.

  33. This article cracked me up!

  34. Man, what a cry for attention!

  35. The only thing I want from BBM, is the ability to PING. This feature was used on a daily basis by me. It let you force a recipients phone to vibrate, to catch their attention. If Android’s version of BBM won’t have PING, I will not be using it.

    1. The Android version DOES have Ping. First thing I noticed in the leaked apk file.

      1. Nice….

    2. I don’t want people pinging me. If I didn’t answer the phone or reply to a text then it’s probably for a reason.
      Pinging me will probably get you on a block list. So creepy.

      1. Let me give you a real world scenario of why I used to ping. My wife often leaves her phone in a different room than the one she happens to be occupying in a given point in time. When I’m at work, I can’t call her, but I am allowed to text. So when I try to text her, she doesn’t respond. But when I ping her, the vibration is more likely to get her attention. Creepy enough for you?

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