BlackBerry’s popular messenger service made its way to iPhone late last week, and looks to be one of the few remaining products of any worth at the troubled Canadian technology firm. Once a smartphone giant, it’s now been forced to hand over its greatest assets to other platforms just to keep going and retain any value. But none of that matters to the end consumer. The big question for them is: Is BBM good enough to replace WhatsApp, or compete?
Short answer: Yes
Unlike most other messenger apps, it has an added element of productivity. In the groups section you can create and manage any number of groups, and it’s not simply group messaging. It’s group managing. You can create lists, events and share pictures as well as chat. In a nutshell, it’s almost like GroupMe and Wunderlist combined in one messenger app. As well as that, you have the added security of having an individual PIN, so, no one can login and use your account from any other device but yours.
Chatting really needs no explanation. It’s the usual affair of typing in to a small field below the conversation thread. The one difference is the user interface. It’s very clean, looks professional and feels a lot like a slice of BB10 is running on my iPhone. And it’s chatting that everyone will use it for. It’s quick, updates almost instantly with real-time read receipts. Like BBM of old, you can attach images and voice notes to conversations. That’s not a bad thing. Swiping from the left or right edge of the screen reveals a menu or list, which changes depending on which part of the app you’re in.
The fact that so many people have downloaded it already means there’s already a large user base, and as long as that popularity can continue, I can easily see it become the most trusted app for messaging on the App Store. It’s certainly a more refined and polished app than anything I’ve used up until now.
BBM is available to download from the App Store for free and is compatible with any iPhone running iOS version 6.o or later.