Tech: BlackBerry Messenger Coming to iOS and Android

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Not that long ago RIM’s BlackBerry was the most popular smartphone in the world. It’s a bit hard to believe now, with the immense popularity of the iPhone and Android devices, but at one time the BlackBerry was the king of the mobile world. I had several, and I loved them.

One of the features that made BlackBerry so popular, other than how well it handled email, was BlackBerry Messenger. In case you’re not familiar, BBM is a service that allows BlackBerry users to send direct messages, chat in real time and more. It works pretty much like Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime do in iOS or OS X.

Like iMessage and FaceTime, which are only available on Apple devices, BBM has always been BlackBerry-only. That is, until now.

RIM announced today that BBM will launch this Summer for Apple’s iPhone and for Android devices. The announcement came during the company’s BlackBerry Live conference, which is going on this week.

While I believe this will be a welcome development for some people still stuck in 2005, I need to ask this question: Who cares?

With other messaging services like iMessage, WhatsApp and Google’s upcoming Hangouts, this announcement isn’t going to make much of a difference to anyone. I don’t think it’s BBM on iOS or Android that’s going to bring people back to the BlackBerry in droves.

Sadly, at this point, I don’t think much of anything will.

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