Saturday, September 21, 2013

BBM for Android release date is today at 7am EDT, 12 noon EDT for iOS

After BlackBerry announced on Friday that it was writing down over $900 million in unsold BlackBerry Z10 handsets for the second quarter, giving up on the consumer business and laying off 40% of its workforce, the Canadian based OEM had one more order of business. It tweaked a bit the release day and time of its BlackBerry Messenger for Android, and announced an official launch time for the iOS version.

At 7am EDT (just a few hours from now), BBM for Android will appear in the Google Play Store, ready for the new BlackBerry era to begin. Five hours later, at noon EDT, the app will be ready for iOS users to download and install. Using an assigned PIN, users of the app will be able to send messages back and forth between other users of the app and BlackBerry users. Groups of as many as 30 will be able to communicate at once.

You will also be able to add a status page, and that is all for now. An update planned in the future will allow Android and iOS users to communicate by voice or video. And later on, the BBM Channels social network will be added. This is a feature that was added to BBM with the introduction of BlackBerry 10 earlier this year. Don't be fooled by phony versions of the app spelled incorrectly as Blackberry Messenger!

This appears to be the future of BlackBerry, creating software for other platforms. Let's see if the gang in Waterloo can kick off this new era on the right side.

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