Sometimes it seems like BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) is more popular than the company’s smartphone lines. But what about BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone or Android users? A recent release in September 2013 of a Messenger app gives owners of the two dominant smartphone platforms the ability to IM in the old-school BlackBerry way. It might be the only way the BlackBerry brand stays relevant when it comes to mobile communications.


BBM for the iPhone and Android: Features and Requirements

The BlackBerry Messenger app is compatible with iOS versions 6, 7, and later and Android versions 4.0 and later. iPhone and Android device owners are now able to text with BlackBerry owners using BBM instead of standard text messaging. One unique feature of BBM, great for business purposes, is the ability to group chat with up to 30 different people, a function sure to be a boon with project team members.

The availability of a unique BlackBerry PIN means users don’t have to share email addresses or phone numbers with everyone they engage in chat. Thankfully, the app is a free download. The iOS version also supports the iPad, but not as a universal app, so the display looks pixelated when expanded.

BBM also includes the ability to share documents, voice notes, and other media — including images. This feature also enhances the app’s suitability for business communication. Users can even set up their own BBM profile, with a similar status update function to Twitter or Facebook. A recent update added the ability to easily share a BBM PIN with those two popular social networks.

BlackBerry Changing Its Focus?

With its recent smartphone models selling poorly, many technology pundits wonder if BlackBerry may reposition itself in the market. This release of BlackBerry Messenger for iPhone and Android users looks — if successful — to be something that gives the company a service in BBM that it can spin off as its own company or sell to another firm.