The Blackberry Messenger, i.e. BBM for Android application was published at the play store today, and many are already able to use it, while Blackberry has put several others in a waiting list. It’s a free application for the Android and iOS users, and we did try to spend some time with the BBM for Android to check out how good this one is, against the widely popular WhatsApp and WeChat messengers. In fact, there’s quite a lot of difference but for those who have friends using the Blackberry smartphones and were always sad that there was no way to keep up with them via chat clients, the solution is finally here.
The BBM Android app is quite secure for those who didn’t want to share their email address or phone number, but wanted to keep a distant touch with the online buddies – the BBM PIN which makes it quite secure, and although you won’t be able to choose a unique one for yourself, the BBM PIN is enough to share as your ID.
Adding contacts, inviting others is all quite easy after you once register or login if you already have a BBM ID (possible if you had a Blackberry smartphone earlier), and the invite can be sent either directly to the app, or via SMS.
The chat section looks excellent, and for me, even better than the WhatsApp, where I wasn’t able to have the profile picture of the contact in Whatsapp in the chat section, but in BBM it does add one for every conversation. The message sent would read “D” once the message is delivered to the contact. The list of contacts shows thumbnails of profile pictures and makes it easier for the user to look for the particular contact, and there’s even a search bar on the top of the contacts list to make it easier.
The dock list in the bottom comes handy where one can easily check for all the latest chats, the contacts, groups and the other options. Multiple contacts can be selected and a Multiperson Chat can be started from there right away, or a broadcast message can be sent to all the contacts at once, if you are making an announcement. These are a few features that one would miss in WhatsApp.
Swiping from left corner of the screen on any chat screen or group page would show the basic list of these:
The conference chatting / group chat is very easy to do and it is very organized, and this is where the profile picture helps when multiple contacts are sending messages. But sending attachments is quite limited in groups or Multi Person chats, where you can send only the voice notes and nothing else. While in the single person chat, you can send pictures by either capturing live with the camera or by selecting from the gallery.
The Updates section shows any changes from the various contacts, and that includes friend requests accepted, change in status, profile pictures etc.
The BBM settings are quite a lot to play around with. Initially, the BBM would come with an icon that gets located in the status bar on the top and that shows even in the notification panel to show whenever BBM is connected to the web, but you can remove that in the Notification options of BBM settings. The tone for notifications can be changed, and even the LED light color for the notifications can be. This would be helpful when you don’t want to turn your screen on all the time to see whether it was a notification from the BBM.
Contacts can be blocked, and that’s one of the good things with the BBM, because you won’t be getting any annoying invites after you have once ignored the particular contact. One can easily remove the contacts from the blocked list.
Overall, the BBM for Android is a very decent chat client which at least connects the iOS and Android user with the Blackberry users through a common platform, and this indeed is ahead of the Whatsapp and such chat applications for a few reasons – Profile pictures in chats (we aren’t talking of the unofficial WhatsApp Plus), Privacy of phone number / email address etc.
You can download the BBM Android app by going to the following link – Download BBM Android App