We have all been eagerly awaiting the release of Blackberry Messenger on Android. That wait has spanned years. From those days when we were really needy to today when we have the likes of Whatsapp being everyone’s favourite. For those holed up in Samsung’s ecosystem they have ChatON, a fully responsive instant messaging client. For the rest, apart from Whatsapp, we also have Kik, Kakao Talk, Viber, even Skype’s IM feature on its app, eBuddy, Nimbuzz and many many others. While none of those offers a much unified experience as BBM has been doing for the last several years on Blackberry smartphones, the explosive growth of Whatsapp saw someone finally inch closer to nailing what Android users have been yearning for all those years. Even other platforms have benefited immensely from that explosive demand being addressed.
We have gone from almost having it to not knowing when we’ll have it in a little over 72 hours. If things were to go as they were supposed to, we would have downloaded BBM on Friday. That eventually became Saturday for us phandroids and Sunday for the iSheep. The inverse happened. Not fully though. BBM popped up in the New Zealand App Store early on Saturday before appearing briefly elsewhere (including Kenya!) for a few more hours. Then it was pulled. Android’s situation was even a bit worse. The app was never available to start with. However as is usually the case with Android, the apk for BBM for Android leaked way before the folks prepping the app for its grand entry into the Play Store could finish their final touches. Even with the rogue version out and access to Blackberry login credentials restricted for those not previously registered, the app went on to have at least 1.1 million users installing it in a brief window of 8 hours. Then everything was pulled. Sadly.
All we know now is that BBM will still make its way to the green robot shores. Blackberry through the Twitter account for BBM, has clarified more than once that they are “working tirelessly” to bring the app to the Play Store. After all that hype, honestly, I doubt I am still interested. Whatsapp still works fine. With the addition of voice messages recently, the experience even just got better. I can’t miss what I have never had, understandably, but should someone have stuck with the timelines they set, I would be a happier person this week. At least to some scale. With a thorough beating in the Manchester derby and some horrifying terror attacks in the capital the weekend was enough horror. Then the BBM glitch happened.
I’m still waiting to share my BBM PIN though. Still hopeful.
While I still hope, there are enough copycats on the Play Store that are spreading malware and cheating unsuspecting Play Store frequenters to share personal info before accessing the fake BBM apps. Be careful. Until the BBM you are itching to install is from ‘Blackberry Limited’, patience will be your best ally. Join me in waiting, it is all we can do for now.