First Look: BBM for iOS Hands-On, Here’s What You’re Missing Out On [PICS]


So BBM for iOS is now live in the App Store after non-stop delays. How does BBM for iOS actually work? We managed to get our app setup and tested it out first with @chrism514. Here are some quick observations:

  • There are two buttons to send messages. ‘Send’ and the legacy BBM icon. Not sure why it’s there
  • Screen real estate for chats is small since there’s a permanent bar for uploading images, voice notes, and access to a side menu (you can PING people); Update: You can remove this bar in the settings. It’s on by default
  • Tap the chat window to minimize the keyboard
  • Right gesture from the main screen shows a peek at chat updates
  • Push works; no app crashes yet

Photo 4

The sign up process was not fun. I used my email entered from the initial BBM for iOS sign up registration. Had to create a password (which is shown in plain view by the way), enter in a birthday, tick off boxes to agree to terms, and opt out of the BlackBerry mailing list.

Photo 10 21 2013 11 11 00 AM Photo 10 21 2013 11 11 14 AM

Photo 10 21 2013 11 11 19 AM Photo 10 21 2013 11 16 31 AM

My experience with BBM for iOS was short lived. I haven’t deleted it yet, but the app didn’t necessarily impress me either. The design feels dated unlike iOS 7 and has a stiff, unintuitive BlackBerry design (why are there two send buttons for chats? Why can I only see two chat bubbles at max?). Other than the painful setup process, the app hasn’t crashed on me yet and push notifications work (probably because of the staggered roll out).

Photo 2 Photo 3

Photo 10 21 2013 11 17 40 AM Photo 10 21 2013 11 34 48 AM

I was only able to test BBM for iOS with fellow iPhone users, fans of and not actual BlackBerry users. I don’t know anyone who has a BlackBerry anymore as all of them have switched to the iPhone or Android.

If you’re already chatting with friends using iMessage, WhatsApp or other third party apps, not sure why you’d want to use this unless you have some friends and family still using a BlackBerry.There’s nothing new here folks, just the same old stale stuff from BlackBerry.

Click here to download BBM for iOS–it’s free. Feel free to add me on BBM if you want to test the app out. How are you liking BBM for iOS?

Update: We asked BlackBerry about the app’s reservation rollout and how it will be administered. Here’s what we were told via email:

The first wave of people who will be through the line-up are the six million people who pre-registered. We will then move hundreds of thousands of people from both systems to the front of the line every hour. This is done on a first come first serve basis. We will be using download timestamps to move the line-up chronologically from the time the app was downloaded.


  • Arcsvibe

    Wow so glad to have made it in your screenshots lol!! I find it slow and also agree it looks a little dated.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    im gonna add gary just to BBM him about his typos 😀

  • Sean

    BBM has all kinds of features iMessage doesn’t have. It’s really the only thing I actually missed about my blackberry when I went iPhone. The real fun is in the collaborative features you get with the groups. You can share pictures, lists, events, and group administration. Pretty slick.

  • Marco

    You can do all this with iMessage (except group administration)

  • Dan

    If they wanted to use this app to try to persuade folks to try a BB, looks like it will have the opposite effect.

  • BritBloke

    Woo hoo! I’m on BBM now on my iphone. It’s good to have contacts at RIM that can bump you up!

  • f1ght3r

    They’re about 5 years too late on this one :p


    Been using bbm since it was first pulled from the store almost a month ago. No complaints

  • xxxJDxxx

    If they had got this app out a couple years ago it might have helped stop their bleeding. As if now I also don’t know anyone with a blackberry anymore.

  • Waiting…

  • Ange

    The autocorrect feature really interrupts your flow of typing.

  • crosseyed_mofo

    im still in line 🙁

  • Steve

    You honestly think iMessage is better?? What does iMessage do that SMS doesn’t?
    And by the way – how about you PROPERLY update your site for mobile! The whole process of rendering is awful! It renders like windows vista but much staler.
    Anyways, for me, I’ll stick with iMessage but have absolutely nothing against having another messaging appfor those who like it or want to use it.

  • Jake

    Well, one thing’s for sure. They couldn’t have made it any uglier.

  • iMessage provides a few conveniences that SMS messaging does not:
    messages are sent to all of the recipient’s iMessage accounts to ensure delivery,
    you can message within a group of people (provided they all have iMessage),
    you can see when other members of the conversation are typing via a ‘…’ bubble,
    you have the option to let your friends know when you’ve read their messages
    and it works on other Apple devices

  • Acer12345

    The android version is much better. The iOS version is more crippled due to the (obvious) limits of the OS in terms of what the app is allowed to do.

  • hub2

    I doubt it, simply by releasing this app they’ve acknowledged that that ship has sailed, and they’re trying a services angle.

  • Vince


  • Juan

    Is anyone else having a problem with sending voice memos with it? I can’t open the conversations where I sent one. If I do the app crashes. Any idea how to close a conversation without going into it?