It may be too little too late for Blackberry all around, at least that seems to be the general consensus around town. Yet again, Blackberry has made a promising yet rather untimely announcement.
Blackberry Messenger will soon be available for both iOS and Android. I’m sure you know what that is, but just in case you don’t, it is Blackberry’s proprietary messaging service. It’s always been pretty popular with Blackberry users, and for good reason too. Many believe the universal messaging service is even better than Apple’s iChat. Let’s face it, platform-wide messaging services are pretty convenient.
Google obviously recognized this because they’re expected to launch Hangouts (Babel) soon. Hangouts will essentially merge all of Google’s services through a single universal messaging program. In other words, you won’t have to jump back and forth between Google Talk, Google+ Messsenger and the chat window in Google Drive to keep conversations going. The plan is that the messaging service will flow between all of the platforms. It’s a brilliant idea, and it’s certainly one that’s been a long time coming.
That being said, it just seems like a strange time for Blackberry to make an announcement like this. It’s not entirely clear what they’re trying to accomplish with such a move. Blackberry 10 is a great platform, but Blackberry Messenger is one of the biggest features it has going for it. It seems almost nonsensical to take such an exclusive flagship feature and make it available on rival platforms. It’s possible Blackberry will save the best features for their own users, but we’ll find out soon enough.
Blackberry Messenger includes some pretty handy features like group chats, direct screen sharing and a newly announced Channels. Blackberry even updated the service for the Blackberry 10 launch to implement video chat support similar to Skype.
This is certainly great news for old-time Blackberry fans that have since made the switch to Android, but the real question is -will you even use BBM once Google launches Hangouts? Of course, it remains to be seen whether or not Hangouts will deliver the same reliability and features, but Google hardly ever lets us down.
All of this is apparently happening sometime over the summer, so expect to see BBM available in Google Play real soon.
What do you think about this news? Any Blackberry fans out there care to chime in?