Messaging system for BlackBerry phones will work on other platforms
BlackBerry will be expanding access to its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service to new platforms this summer, in a move that has surfaced in rumors a number of times in the past. Users of iOS and Android devices will be able to download a free app for their device in order to use the service, with the core BBM functionality initially available and other aspects expected later in the year.
BlackBerry 10 update page launched at same time
Research in Motion has updated BlackBerry Messenger to include free Wi-Fi calling between BBM users. BBM 7.0 with BBM Voice allows its users to make calls without using the cell network, such as in signal blackspots, and also lets users still send messages to one another while in the middle of the call, as well as other updates to the app.
New BBM user interface, color scheme
Following on the heels of an image leak that was claimed to show off the first two BlackBerry 10 devices, additional images of a revamped interface for BlackBerry Messenger on BlackBerry 10 have surfaced. N4BB.com has acquired two images that appear to reveal the reworked messaging service. The UI is believed to have been redesigned to take advantage of the OLED screens said to be featured on RIM's forthcoming phones.
Complainant in different industry, BBM allowed to be used by RIM
BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) has won a rare victory in court. The Federal Court of Canada has ruled that RIM can continue to use the acronym BBM, for BlackBerry Messenger, as an analyst firm challenging the trademark operates in an entirely different industry.
Unnamed source disputes rumored BBM on other platforms
Research in Motion may not open up its BlackBerry Messenger service as previously thought. Rumors that the BBM service would expand to Android handsets and iPhones, as evidenced by a photo of a beta app, are in doubt following the replacement of Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie by chief executive Thorsten Heins, according to an unnamed source speaking to the Wall Street Journal.
BlackBerry Curve 9220 aims at developing world
RIM out an end to at least one rumor on Wednesday with the BlackBerry Curve 9220. Its new entry smartphone is the first to have a dedicated BlackBerry Messenger key. Hitting the side-mounted BBM button launches the app from wherever the user is in the OS, making it easier to respond to a message or share something as soon as it shows.
RIM may be close to BBM Android and PlayBook 4G
RIM could be getting close to releasing a pair of major projects based on a pair of tentative rumors in mid-week. One possible sighting emerging from TechnoBuffalo had BlackBerry Messenger being run on an Android device for testing purposes. The lone shot had few extra details, but conspicuously showed an "iPhone test" contact entry, suggesting RIM was developing for both platforms.
RIM event marked by tragic death
The stabbing at RIM's party for BlackBerry Messenger has resulted in further tragedy as London's Metropolitan Police have reported that the victim has died of his wounds. Philip Sherriff, one of RIM's UK employees, passed on early Sunday. His attacker is believed to be Ashley Charles and has already been charged with attempted murder.
BlackBerry 4G PlayBook spied in detail
Removing doubts around earlier rumors of a BlackBerry 4G PlayBook, a CrackBerry forum poster revealed overnight that he had access to at least three of them. Showing both the SIM tray and the presence of a "mobile network" settings pane, user fakedeadmau5 proved that the design was fundamentally the same as the seven-inch original save for cellular hardware. He also showed a rudimentary BlackBerry Messenger app, suggesting that RIM had at least been trying to get BBM working on cellular PlayBooks after failing to get it working on Wi-Fi only.
RIM may bring BlackBerry services to iOS users
RIM may break a longstanding policy against apps for non-BlackBerry platforms if a job listing is an indicator. The position for a Senior iOS Mobile Developer wants someone who can design and write enterprise iPad and iPhone apps. As proof that apps themselves are important, any potential hire has to show examples of published App Store titles.
iPhone overcomes BlackBerry Canadian bias
A hybrid of new data collected by both IDC and Bloomberg has shown that the BlackBerry is no longer the top-selling smartphone in Canada. Despite a home zone advantage, RIM was outsold in all of 2011, at 2.85 million iPhones to 2.08 million BlackBerrys. The result was a stark reversal of 2010, when RIM had shipped about 500,000 more smartphones; RIM had been shipping five times as many phones in 2008, when the iPhone 3G was just new to the country.
RIM launches new ad campaign to boost share
RIM has started a new ad campaign aimed at highlighting the simplicity and workhorse-like nature of its smartphones, focusing on the streamlined strengths of its platform. One of the features that gets renewed emphasis is RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger service, which has helped to make it one of the most popular handsets among teens in the UK. The new spots include phrases such as ‘I’m about action, not distraction’ as well as ‘we need tools, not toys,’ playing on one of the hackneyed criticisms of the iPhone.
RIM CEO hints BBM may be open to iOS and Android
RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins has continued his interviewing with hints the company might not be as closed to the possibility of BlackBerry Messenger on other mobile platforms as once thought. He told CrackBerry that he was still committed to the core BlackBerry platform and there weren't immediate plans, but that the company "should never rule this [possibility] out." The company did have staff exploring the possibility, but it would only go ahead if it was logical.
BlackBerry 2012 roadmap exposed in huge detail
An extremely detailed RIM roadmap has leaked to BGR that shows even more than what was shown yesterday. Along with confirming the 1.5GHz, 3G- and NFC-equipped PlayBook refresh, the scoop shows that the BlackBerry Curve 9220 and 9320 will make BlackBerry Messenger a central feature. Both will have a built-in BBM key on the side, making a return to chat a one-button feature.
RIM said optimistic in hoping for Samsung takeover
A contentious rumor Tuesday alleges that RIM has been trying to get a buyout offer from Samsung. The "trusted sources" for BGR had the company talking to anyone interested in buying some or all of the BlackBerry maker, but co-CEO Jim Balsillie was reportedly "going hard" for a Samsung deal. Samsung might want the company for adding enterprise-grade services and expanding or replacing ChatON with the more tightly integrated BlackBerry Messenger.
RIM sued by BBM Canada for misusing name
RIM was found Friday to be facing another lawsuit over one of its core products. Broadcast group BBM Canada is now known to have sued RIM on August 12, 2010, and to face a hearing on January 11, 2012, for allegedly misusing the BBM term to refer to BlackBerry Messenger. Unlike most such cases, BBM Canada could point to genuine cases of confusion, the Globe and Mail said, with staff being mistaken for RIM workers and an analytics branch being mistakenly called for messaging help.
Rebuffs RIM after it chooses Singapore for servers
Malaysian government officials have threatened to end RIM's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service in that country. This rebuff comes after RIM chose to place a new server operation in Singapore. The Indonesian Telecommunication Regulation Body (BRTI) claimed to The Jakarta Post that the potential action is due to security reasons.
Company appoints interim leader
Research In Motion has confirmed that Frenny Bawa, managing director of the company's Indian division, has stepped down from her position to pursue other interests. Although the executive's reasons for leaving RIM were not fully disclosed, the announcement follows strong pressure from the Indian government to gain access to encrypted communications sent via BlackBerry Messenger.
Apple may take more iOS features to Mac soon
An as yet unverified rumor asserts that Apple's "Back to the Mac" philosophy will continue with two more key additions. A 9to5 tip had both AirPlay Mirroring and iMessage in development. Although code references have alluded to iMessage coming to iChat, Apple was supposedly working on both a stand-alone app and an integrated client to determine which was better, possibly the same strategy used for FaceTime.
British retail claims little effect to price drops
Steep BlackBerry PlayBook price cuts may not have had much effect in the UK, according to unofficial stories from local retailers. They claimed that sales had been given a "slight uplift," The Register said, but that results were still "disappointing." The nearly four-day BlackBerry outage was a partial factor, as it rattled confidence in the whole platform, tipsters said.
BlackBerry PlayBook may lack e-mail until Feb 17
The promised BlackBerry PlayBook 2.0 update might not arrive until February if rumors from within RIM prove true. Despite promises by company CEOs that the update would be available soon after it was shown off at BlackBerry DevCon last week, BGR understood the tablet wouldn't get native e-mail and other basics until mid-February, possibly February 17. RIM's problems overcoming the one-device limit inherent to the BlackBerry has reportedly proven tougher to overcome than once thought.
Reps shoot down talk of Android compatibility
Research In Motion has reportedly ruled out the possibility of expanding BlackBerry Messenger service to additional platforms. When pressed by DevCon attendees inquiring about Android support in the future, BlackBerry Developer Program senior director Chris Smith claimed there are "no plans for it." Vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders also claimed he "wasn't aware of it."
RIM revives BlackBerry in Eastern hemisphere
(Update: new failure) RIM's Eastern hemisphere BlackBerry outage was restored early Tuesday morning. The company said that services had been brought back online and apologized for the drop. No cause was given, however, despite over 20 hours of outages in Africa, Asia, Europe, and hte Middle East.
A same time argues BBM helpful in times of crisis
RIM, the makers of Blackberry smartphones and the operator of the BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM), told a UK investigative committee that it would shut down BBM during incidents like the recent riots and other if ordered, but not voluntarily. Stephen Bates, RIM UK Managing Director, told members of the British Parliament that the company would obey the law but that BBM wasn't inherently wrong. Social media could have positive uses in a crisis, and suspending messaging services such as BBM was not a "good way to move forward," Bates said.
iMessage may cross-pollinate between Mac, iOS
Calls for iMessage to reach the Mac may have been answered through discoveries made Wednesday. Elements for "timeDelivered" and "timeRead" receipts are in the framework of Lion's version of iChat that aren't needed for iChat's existing support but do reflect what iMessage would need. Although not certain, MacRumors extrapolates to anticipate that iChat will eventually get active iMessage support.
Samsung plans cross-platform ChatON service
Samsung in an unusual step for the run-up to the IFA show this week chose to unveil its own cross-platform messaging service. ChatON will supply group chat but also some distinctive features, such as a "trunk" of photos and videos shared in a chat that can all have comments, the option of commenting on friend profiles, and special messages with images, music, and handwritten parts. Users will even have a form of analytics with ranks for those they talk to the most frequently.
RIM posts BBM Music in beta
RIM quickly confirmed rumors Thursday and launched BBM Music. True to expectations, the cloud music service is unusual in deliberately limiting each member to 50 songs of their own. To expand the library, listeners have to be BlackBerry Messenger friends with others also subscribed to the service, gaining access to their catalog. The goal is not just to tie users to BBM but to help them discover songs they wouldn't have found on their own.
Skype acquires GroupMe for messaging strategy
Microsoft's soon-to-be acquisition Skype on Sunday said it had itself bought GroupMe. The deal with the year-old startup gives it access to mobile group messaging. Skype has been quiet as to the exact intentions but plans to fold in the "best in class text-based communications."
BlackBerry music service details slip
RIM's BlackBerry music service won't be as aggressive as others but will be counting on a unique strategy and a lower price to get listeners involved. New leaks for the service, sometimes called BBM Music, suggest that each individual user's catalog will be capped at just 50 songs but rely on a BBM group to expand. In CrackBerry's understanding, anyone who's subscribed in the group also shares their library, giving access to hundreds or thousands of songs.
Encouraged others to create & capture violence
A young woman has been accused of using her BlackBerry to encourage others to commit looting and other acts of mayhem during the past week's disturbances in London and other UK cities. The 18-year-old has been charged with intentionally "encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence" under the country's Serious Crime Act 2007, the Telegraph said. The crime carries stiff fines and imprisonment for up to five years.
Government might shut down sites in emergencies
At a special session of Parliament Thursday morning, UK Prime Minister David Cameron blamed social media sites for the way they were used to organize riots in London and other cities in England this week. Cameron suggested allowing law enforcement to track activity on social media sites to prevent them from being used to plot "violence, disorder and criminality." RIM reportedly had been cooperating with police before Cameron made his remarks.
RIM promises to assist police in wake of riots
RIM has said that it will co-operate with police investigations into the instigators of the London riots, according to The Guardian. London’s metro police claim that perpetrators of the riots used RIM’s encrypted BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service, possibly knowing that it would be difficult for police to track their communications. RIM’s managing director of regional marketing, Patrick Spence, confirmed via Twitter that contact had been made between the police and RIM.
RIM ships BBM 6 with tight chat integration
RIM gave BlackBerry owners a unique leap Thursday with the official launch of BlackBerry Messenger 6 (App World). The new update brings in the BBM Social Platform and lets the instant messaging weave into "connected" apps. Users can not only share content out through BBM but invite people in, such as for a multiplayer game. Optimized apps can allow live BBM chats without having to leave the app.
Microsoft hiring for market-disupting WP7 plans
Microsoft has posted a job listing alluding to plans for what it hopes is a revolutionary Windows Phone feature. A Software Development Engineer in Test would join to handel a "top secret project" inside the team. The company was deliberately secretive as to details but planned to "GO BIG! DISRUPT THE MARKET!" with whatever its plans would be.
Google said to have worked on message rival
Google has at least at one point been developing an equivalent to BlackBerry Messenger and Apple's iMessage, an insider mentioned Thursday. Details of the system were few, but it's implied it would be much more than just the existing Google Talk and other IM apps. The WSJ clue made no mention of whether it was still active or a dead project.
iMessage hits RIM with BBM-alike on iOS
Apple made clear its intentions to steal away BlackBerry users by launching its own equivalent to BlackBerry Messenger in iOS 5. iMessage offers much of the same SMS-free messaging as its RIM equivalent, even including delivery and sending receipts, group messaging, and live typing notices. Group messaging works, and conversations sync across devices so a user can start on an iPhone and finish on an iPad.
PlayBook gets BBM Bridge, BB7 on new phones only
RIM had a pair of understated rollouts on Monday for the BlackBerry platform. A beta update for BlackBerry Bridge on phones, and a matching BlackBerry Messenger release, now lets the BlackBerry PlayBook lets those tethering a phone over Bluetooth use BBM with the much larger screen of the tablet. The interface on the tablet is very similar to that of other Bridge apps and has the full confirmed message system and other features.