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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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