Overview of BlackBerry Messenger

If you are a BlackBerry owner, you will be really familiar with this app – in fact, I know of teens who want a BB device badly because of this app (yes, I’m serious; not the other way around). BlackBerry Messenger is the default chatting application installed on the BlackBerry devices. It is a proprietary instant messaging app that can be a definite asset if exchanging messages with other BlackBerry users is your main goal. It offers many useful features as you can carry on real-time conversations with friends and family as well as multiple conversations simultaneously. You can chat with groups, send and receive e-mails, manage your contacts and much more. Let’s embark on a journey to discover the highlights of BlackBerry Messenger.

Developer

Developed by Research In Motion, BlackBerry Messenger is the pre-installed chatting app found on all the Blackberry devices. Research In Motion is the developer of the BlackBerry smartphone and at the same time, it is a telecommunication and wireless device company based in Canada. RIM was named in 2009 the fastest growing company in the world by Fortune Magazine because despite the recessions, they managed to achieve a growth of 84% in profits over three years. Later in 2010, they expanded and bought Viigo, a Toronto based company that specialized in the development of BlackBerry applications. Holding 10.4% of the smartphone operating system market, RIM is certainly one of the big boys in the smartphone industry. Other honorable mentions of software developed Research in Motion include the BlackBerry 6 OS, BlackBerry Protect, Early Adopter Program and all sorts of apps from domains such as sports, GPS navigation, lifestyle and more. Their wide ranging products are available online on the BlackBerry App World store.

Interface

BlackBerry Messenger benefits from a rather intuitive interface. Casual users will not have any problems using this chat app. Communication with your peers is a breeze! The sleek and simple interface is a feature we’d come to expect from every BlackBerry product and in this regard, BlackBerry Messenger doesn’t disappoint. You can also find out if someone has read your message (an ‘R’ will be shown instead of the ‘D’ which stands for “delivered”) which is a pretty cool feature, don’t you say? The natural placement of the buttons and controls allows for a fluid navigation and chat. BlackBerry Messenger’s interface is certainly one of the app’s strengths. By the way, in different versions, the interface looks slightly different though – it’s a matter of being polished to extremely polished!

A quick look at the main features of BlackBerry Messenger

  • Chat with other BlackBerry users and groups
  • Get messages without filling up your inbox
  • Simple management of contacts and log-in
  • Ringtones and vibration notify you of incoming messages
  • User-friendly and reliable
  • Excellent update possibilities

Pros of BlackBerry Messenger

The biggest selling point of the BlackBerry Messenger is the fact that every BlackBerry user has it installed on their device. Basically, BlackBerry Messenger is Blackberry’s version of an instant messenger and most BlackBerry handsets have it preinstalled. Keep in mind that it can only be upgraded online though on your handset. In order to communicate with others, your BBM pin code must be sent to a peer or you must receive a BBM pin code. The BBM pin code is an eight-digit letter and number code assigned to that particular Blackberry device. After you set this up by going to “Options”, then “Status”, you are free to chat to any BlackBerry user you want from across the world. There is no per message charge and this means that an unlimited number of messages worldwide can be sent and received for free.

One of my peers once said that BBM is the greatest app for lovers who are having a long distance relationship in two different countries. In addition, you should be happy to find out that the management of contacts and log-in is very simple and works as if you would were on a PC using your IM program. Another cool feature of BlackBerry Messenger is the fact that you can set it to vibrate or emit a tone when an incoming instant message arrives. Setting and changing notifications is a feature you will surely use! You can also share photos, videos and multiple contacts with your buddies.

Cons

Although it’s a really neat messaging app, BlackBerry Messenger also boasts a major complaint. The major annoyance is that your telephony contract from your mobile network provider must include this as a service. Otherwise, you will use and pay BlackBerry Messaging as an online data service and not text messaging. In other words for most countries, you are actually paying for the usage of BBM from your service contract plan.

In a nutshell

All in all, BlackBerry Messenger is a pretty solid chat app that gets the job done at the end of the day. With a good internet signal and friends who also have Blackberry’s, you are in for a real treat. I’m not sure if one day, BBM can link a BlackBerry user with an iPhone user for example – but if that happens, I am sure both BlackBerry and iPhone users will not complain! After all, these two brands are still the world’s most embraced smartphone brands.

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