BBM – BlackBerry’s Messaging App Finally Arrives (iOS App Review)

bbm_iconIt’s finally here! After a long and exhausting wait, BBM for iPhone has hit the App Store and it’s the first time BlackBerry’s popular messaging app has been available on something other than a BlackBerry. Of course this app is also available for Android, but I’ll be talking about the iOS version here. What can you expect from BBM right now on a non-BlackBerry device? For the most part, the experience looks pretty much the same as what you’d find on a current BlackBerry 10 platform phone with the ability to chat with individuals or with many in a group chat.

If you had a BlackBerry before, you can actually transfer all your BBM contacts to the iOS version. You just have to sign in with your BlackBerry ID and it will all transfer over. You’ll be given a new PIN# to use however so don’t worry about trying to jot down your old one. Side note, you can only use one device per BlackBerry ID so if you’re trying to swap between devices, it will constantly tell you to transfer usage over to your current device.

The app itself is fairly basic at the moment. You can add contacts via barcode, PIN, email, or by SMS. I suggest using PIN if you want to keep your personal information private. Once you’ve added a contact, just tap on them to start a chat. You can include text, photos, and even BBM’s own set of emoticons. It’s also possible to add people to a conversation once it has started to start a group conversation. If you tap on the top bar where the users name is, you’ll be able to view a users profile details, which isn’t really much.

The other way to set up group chats is to actually start a Group of your own and invite users to join. With groups, you can mainly only send text in the main chat window. There is way a to add photos to a group, but it requires that you tap the groups tab below in the menu bar and then add photos from the groups page. It’s a bit strange but it treats “groups” as if it were some kind of fan page that you joined. With groups you can also create your lists and well as events.

Why use BBM when there are so many other options out there? For starters, setting up a PIN code allows you to start chats with people without having to give up your personal information like your email for phone number. Other than that, it’s just another chat app vying for your attention. There are still features missing from the iOS version of BBM that BlackBerry users enjoy, but hopefully those will show up in future updates. The app itself is also a bit on the buggy side with random strange behaviors like weird notification updates that make no sense and occasionally not being able to add a contact. Overall though, not a first outing despite some hiccups.

App Store Link: BBM for iPhone
Version: 1.0.1.108
Developer: BlackBerry Limited
Price: Free
Compatible Devices: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), and iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

Description

The OFFICIAL version of BBM™ is now here for iPhone. Get the real BBM app for the best way connect with friends and family. Download it now.

•Chat with friends on iPhone and other smartphones
•BBM lets you protect your privacy. You control it.
•Chat and share with many at once.
•Create your own BBM profile.

Chat with friends on iPhone and other smartphones:
•BBM is always on and always connected – no app to open
•Know when messages have been delivered (D’s) and read (R’s)
•Share photos, files, documents, voice notes and more
•See when contacts are responding to your message
•Emoticons for every mood and emotion let you express yourself

BBM lets you protect your privacy. You control it:
•You chose how to share your information – BBM uses PINs instead of phone numbers or email addresses so that it’s more private, and you always control who can contact you
•You chose your contacts – 2-way opt-in means you have control over who is able to message you

Chat and Share with many at once:
•Groups – BBM groups help you share pictures, lists, and appointments with group members. You can even be in a group with people who aren’t part of your own BBM contact list.
•Multi-person chats – Invite multiple contacts to have a chat together.
•Broadcast messages – Send a message to multiple BBM contacts at one time.

Create your own BBM profile:
•Post a profile picture using images, pictures or even animated pictures (GIFs).
•Update your status to let people know what you’re up to or how you feel

Download BBM for free today.

[via App Store]

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