After passing “the baton to new leadership” three and a half years ago, ex-Research In Motion chief executive Jim Balsillie has publicly admitted in a new interview what everyone already knows: the iPhone was devastating to the company’s BlackBerry smartphone business. The Associated Pressreports Balsillie’s comments came during a Q&A session with the authors of the recently released “Losing the Signal. The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry” book (Amazon/iBooks): Expand Expanding Close
BlackBerry, however, is taking this report as an opportunity to remind you it still has a messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, which it says is a more secure alternative to iMessage. In a recent blog post (via BGR), the handset maker goes on to list five reasons why its messaging platform is better than iMessage: Expand Expanding Close
Version 2.0 of BBM for iOS app now allows free voice calls to BBM contacts, as well as a range of other new features that include one-touch file-sharing, Dropbox integration, location-sharing, 50-person BBM groups and interest channels.
Today, we’re excited to be adding those great new features and more to BBM that users on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry** can enjoy. When the update becomes available later today, these new features will give you more ways to chat and share than ever before on BBM.
Voice calling is supported on both wifi and mobile data. Note that while voice calls don’t incur any direct charges, as with other forms of VoIP calling you’ll eat into any data allowance you have.
Don’t count BlackBerry out just yet. In spite of their buyoutaddition to their buyout offer from Fairfax Capital for $4.7 billion late last month, the telecommunications company today announced plans at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Florida, to launch a new cloud-based system for managing users and applications across BlackBerry, Android, and iOS.
The cloud service ambitiously plans to address the ‘bring your own device’ movement while addressing privacy and tech support at ‘less than a cup of coffee a month,’ according to BlackBerry.
Simple and fast deployment. No server hardware or software to install, just register and go.
Administrators can easily manage and secure smartphones and tablets. The simple Web-based admin console will provide easy activation and deployment of BlackBerry, iOS and Android™ smartphones, app management, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring.
Administrators can secure, deploy and manage apps. Administrators will be able to build a catalog of public apps from the App StoreSM, Google Play and the BlackBerry World storefront, and then view app distribution and usage for all users and devices.
End-users can manage their own devices through the self-service console. End-users will be able to easily perform common management tasks such as setting up or changing device passwords and remote wipe and lock without relying on an administrator, giving them independence and saving on helpdesk calls.
BlackBerry just announced another disaster quarter and is currently valued at under the value of its assets, yet despite public pleading, no one wants to buy them. They also just laid off 4,500 of their remaining employees and left the consumer market.
But we’re not here to talk about the horrific financials of an imploding company. We’re here to bring the news that Blackberry released BBM (a very capable IM client) for iOS and Android today. It is currently available in Eastern hemisphere countries and is making its way around the globe.
In 2008, this would have been bigger news. Now, you can use it to ask your remaining BlackBerry friends which color iPhone they will be getting.
Update: It looks like the app has disappeared from the stores it has already hit.
Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.
Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone. Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM. The unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visitwww.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.
As soon as we are able, we will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone. Please follow @BBM on Twitter for the latest updates and go to www.BBM.com to sign-up for updates about BBM for Android and iPhone. These issues have not impacted BBM service for BlackBerry.
According to a tweet from T-Mobile UK’s Twitter account, the previously announced BlackBerry Messenger service will be arriving on both Android and iOS later this month on June 27. A release date for the BBM service, which will arrive for the first time on iOS and Android as a free download, has not officially been announced by BlackBerry, but the tweet from T-Mobile is a pretty good indication on when we will see the service begin to roll out. However, a report from BusinessInsider later claimed that the date is incorrect based on a source close to the situation. We’ll have to wait for official confirmation from BlackBerry to find out for sure, but BlackBerry told us last night it hasn’t yet made an announcement:
I talked to BlackBerry PR last night regarding the rumored June 27 BBM iOS date: "we haven't announced a date." "No comment on rumors."
BlackBerry first announced the service was coming to iOS and Android at its event last month. The company said that it would be bringing messaging and groups functionality to new platforms first, but also has plans to introduce voice features, screen sharing, and its just announced ”social engagement platform” dubbed ‘Channels’ in future releases.