Today, at the BlackBerry Live Keynote, the company announced that it will be launching BBM on iOS and Android this Summer. This is a big move for the company that has found itself increasingly trapped in a prison of its own making.
Now, BlackBerry will make one of its most popular features available to users of superior phones who aren't willing to jump onto BlackBerry's otherwise lackluster platform. If you haven't seen BBM working on BB10 yet, you should. It's a very slickly designed chat experience.
According to BlackBerry's CEO Thorston Heins, the service will launch packing only messaging and groups, but it will later expand to voice, screenshare, and BlackBerry's new company-centric "channels" service.
This is a very smart move for BlackBerry as excellent cross-platform chat has become an increasingly important sphere all sorts of companies are battling over.
Facebook Messenger's SMS support with the newly-developed chat head halos has been a significant move into this area on Android. What's more, Google is expected to launch a unified chat hub under the "Hangouts" monicker during the Google I/O keynote tomorrow. Indeed, the whole reason standalone services like GroupMe exist is because none of the huge tech companies has managed to get this right yet.
There's reason to believe that this is going to be the next killer smartphone feature. BlackBerry did it first and best — and should have opened BBM to Android and iOS years ago.
To get creative guides, app tips and the full lowdown on Samsung’s S4, Note 8.0 and Note II, check out Samsung’s Your Mobile Life over here.