Tuesday, 25 October 2011

BlackBerry Messenger for Android spotted online, due by the end of the year

Back in March, there’d been plenty of reports that indicated RIM was planning on porting its ever-popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to other platforms, namely Android and iOS, so as to cash in on their massive user bases. This news had been preceded by RIM’s announcements of Android app compatibility (at least, easy convertibility) with the QNX-based BlackBerry PlayBook, which once again was an attempt to siphon apps from a thriving ecosystem, with minimal developer effort.

Now, screenshots of BlackBerry Messenger app for Android have appeared on the web, lending credence to earlier reports that had been circulating more than half a year earlier. According to Techradar, Research In Motion is currently in the beta-testing stages of app development, and that the Canadian giant will launch BBM for Android by the end of the year. Check out the screenshots at the end of the article.

As seen in the images, it looks like Android users will be issued with a unique PIN to identify themselves on the network. The service reportedly also works well with Android’s built-in push notifications system.
As speculated back in March, it is presumed RIM will be releasing a ‘lite’ version of BBM for other platforms, without the ability to share multimedia files, and the new BBM Music ability to share music libraries.

For now, it looks like BBM for Android might actually see the light of day, unlike BBM for iOS, which will be as hotly-contested an app as any that have passed through Apple’s scanner on its way to the Apple Appstore. Apple will definitely be wary of BBM making its way into its ecosystem, with the fruity giant obviously looking to protect its own iOS BBM counterpart – iMessage.

As for BBM 6, and its connected apps, as well as in-app integration, we can safely assume these will be limited to the BlackBerry platform. However, as long as the IM aspect of BBM becomes truly platform-agnostic, RIM might just have a strong chance at mass adoption.


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