updated 01:33 pm EDT, Thu October 24, 2013
iOS bug, fake Google Play reviews mar BBM app launch
BlackBerry's second attempt at launching its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for Android and iOS has run into issues again, after a promising start. Suspicious reviews on Google Play are suggesting some form of review shilling is taking place, and the phone manufacturer is also looking towards fixing an issue found in the iOS version of its messaging client.
The launch had good news early on, with the claim that the app had been downloaded more than 10 million times in the first 24 hours of availability. An average score of 4.2 on Google Play from over 100,000 reviews seemed to be very favorable for the app, though the reviews themselves appear to be fraudulent. Twitter user Matt Baxter-Reynolds first noticed that a number of reviews used extremely similar language, with Terence Eden discovering that one review includes the request to add the review to Google Play in the first place.
It is suggested that either BlackBerry or one of its partners paid or encouraged to post the reviews, or one of the fake BBM apps is requesting them but they are heading to the wrong Google Play listing. BlackBerry spokesperson Victoria Berry advised "We have recently been made aware of a number of potentially fake five-star reviews of BBM for Android on Google Play. We do not approve of or condone such activities and are committed to working with Google to resolve this."
The iOS 7.0.3 update from Tuesday introduced a bug to the BBM app. Support for the font "HelveticaNeue-Italic" was removed from iOS 7, a font that BBM uses, with the result of the app crashing when the user selects a contact's name. PhoneArena reports that there is a workaround that involves a long press of a contact name, and using a slide-out screen to delete an entire chat thread, and ending the chat before starting a new conversation.