News just came out saying that Research In Motion will start making their infamous BlackBerry Messenger service available to iOS and Android users. What does this mean? It means more people with smartphones can talk to each other without having to text message. BBM has some cool simple features like knowing when your message has been delivered and read and also sharing of pictures and videos. Unfortunately, some of those RIM-specific features may not work on the Android or iOS phones.
What I like about this idea is that I’m not stuck with having to own a BlackBerry in order to use the service. Granted, I can just easily text message my friends, but what I really like about BBM is that I can tell when my message has been delivered and read. You don’t get that with a standard text message. Also, I find messages sent via BBM are faster than text messaging.
It’s also a possibility that RIM could charge iPhone and Android users a one-time fee for access to the BBM service. I know I would be willing to pay that fee if it allows me access to the BBM network.
So why is RIM doing this? Easy… they don’t want third parties to steal the spotlight, so to speak.
The company is getting very frustrated with applications like WhatsApp and Kik offering third-party experiences based on a concept RIM invented, and RIM apparently wants to own the space. (via BGR.com)
If you still want all the nifty features of RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger service, you might want to stick with owning a BlackBerry smartphone. But what I like about this new idea is that it allows someone like me to still use the BBM service without having to own a BlackBerry phone (since people I correspond with still own BlackBerry phones). Granted, the new BBM service still isn’t available as of yet for the Android and iOS phones, but hopefully that will change soon.
Apparently the Android version is almost a certainty; it is due to launch this year and was picked because of the operating systems open nature. There are plans to develop an iOS version, but this could be further down the line. (via The Next Web)
Either way, I still find this to be a good idea. It also shows us the potential for what’s out there concerning our smartphones and how they interact with each other, making communication even easier than before.