Update: The Global roll out of BBM for iPhone has been paused. According to BBM’s official blog, the launch of BBM for iPhone and Android has been delayed due to an unreleased version of the app hitting the Google Play store.
Interestingly, this unofficial version of BBM for Android has seen over 1 million downloads already but has no doubt caused the teams at BlackBerry a ton of problems. Because of this, they have decided to halt the staggered roll out of BBM for both Android and iOS. If you were lucky enough to download BBM for iPhone already, then the app will continue to work. Unfortunately for everyone else, you’ll have to wait.
— BBM (@BBM) September 22, 2013
The app is completely free and will support iPhones running iOS 6 and above.
BBM is out right now in the New Zealand and Australian App Stores and global roll out will commence today according to the official BBM twitter account:
— BBM (@BBM) September 21, 2013
BBM for iPhone will provide free instant messaging with support for text, voice messages, emoticons and photos as well as group chat for up to 30 people and user profiles that can be easily personalized. Pretty much everything users expect from the once platform-exclusive BlackBerry service.
A BlackBerry ID is required to use the app but you can easily sign up for one through the app even if you’re not a BlackBerry user. You’ll be provided with your own BBM PIN which allows others to contact you instead of giving out your phone number or email address.
But the question still remains; is it too late for BlackBerry? A plethora of similar services exist that provide much the same service across platforms. Viber, WhatsApp, GroupMe, and Kik spring to mind with Apple’s own iMessage providing free and integrated instant messaging between iPhones, iPads and Macs. These services dominate an already crowded space and it could be too late for BBM to gain any real traction.
However, BBM was a very popular service for BlackBerry users and was one of the last real features that was exclusive to the platform and attracted users. These are likely to be very happy to see BBM going cross-platform, whether they still use BlackBerry devices or not, and could help see BBM gain a decent user base early on.
Below is a first looks video at the new iOS app for a more in depth preview of the UI and functions of the app:
So, will you be downloading BBM as soon as it hits your local App Store or are you already catered for by another service?
App Store link: BBM