BlackBerry has sent out invitations for an event to be held on Wednesday, September 18, and buzz is that the company will be unveiling its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for iOS and Android. In a statement on Wednesday, the company confirmed that the Android and iOS versions for BBM would launch this Saturday and Sunday respectively.
BlackBerry announced BBM for Android and iOS at its annual BlackBerry Live conference held in May this year. The company promised they would offer the service ‘for free’. As time passes, many fake apps claiming to be BlackBerry Messenger have popped up online.
However, an authentic leak seems to have occurred on the Xda Developers forum. The leaked BBM app installs perfectly on Android. However, it doesn’t seem to be working as of yet. This could be because the BlackBerry servers that handle BBM traffic may not have been configured for the Android version as of yet. BlackBerry has also confirmed that BBM will only work on ‘whitelisted’ devices – whatever that means.
Blackberry is also said to have demoed BBM on the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4 at the Toronto Film Festival held this month. Filming was strictly prohibited at the festival, so not many pictures have emerged. Except for perhaps this one below, courtesy UberGizmo:
We earlier reported that BBM would be out for Android before the end of September. The Xda leak of Android version of the BBM seemed to confirm that the launch is near. Additionally, more rumors emerged which suggested that Samsung may have bagged a deal giving its devices exclusive access to the messenger for 3 months.
YES WE DID!!!! Available frm Friday RT @supersanusi: If Samsung really did get the 3 month exclusive like I heard, that would be something
— Samsung Mobile NG (@samsungmobileng) September 16, 2013
BlackBerry however, has denied these reports and clarified that the app will be available on all devices.
“The excitement around the upcoming BBM launch on iPhone and Android devices seems to know no bounds. Although I’m a big fan of this passion, I want to clarify that no one will have an exclusive on offering BBM. We’ll be bringing the app to Android and iPhone users across the globe soon.” – Victoria Berry, BBM Communications Director, BlackBerry
BlackBerry says it submitted the BBM for iOS App to Apple’s Play Store on August 23rd. The company’s website is also offering users the opportunity to be notified when the app is out, via a sign-up form.
— Alex Kinsella (@alexkinsella) September 6, 2013
And More Leaks
User guides for the BBM app on iOS and Android had also leaked online on CrackBerry. The guides included instructions on signing in, navigation around the app, adding and removing contacts, among other things.
Previously, screenshots of BBM running on a Samsung Galaxy S3 had leaked online on BGR, confirming its existence for the first time.
Engadget too seems to have gotten its hands on a video that features BBM running on an HTC First.
BlackBerry Messenger is the app that started it all – it is the predecessor to the plethora of Instant Messaging Apps we have across platforms today. So far exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones only, BBM has 51 million active monthly users, who use the service for an average of 90 minutes a day.
“With more than a billion Android, iOS, and BlackBerry smartphones in the market, and no dominant mobile messaging platform, this is absolutely the right time to bring BBM to Android and iPhone customers,” – Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, BBM, BlackBerry.
On Android and iOS, users will need to register for the service using a BlackBerry account. Signing up for one should be free, according to BlackBerry. The Android version will also roll out with more features than its iOS counterpart. BBM will allow photo-sharing, Blackberry Groups and voice notes. Another feature – BlackBerry Channels is also expected to make it to the release.