For a long time now, Apple has had iMessage – a way of sending text messages between iPhone, iPod and iPad users without paying SMS charges. It uses your wifi connection or your 3G data bundle which is far cheaper.
Blackberry has had BlackBerry Messenger BBM on its platform allowing instant messaging between Blackberry users – again using wifi or data bundles – some network deals included BBM instant messages for free.
Then there is Viber and What’s App? – both of these apps are available on Android, Apple and Blackberry devices allowing users to contact each other without paying for airtime or SMS – using data bundles and 3G connections again – which prove cheaper for most contract and PAYG customers.
Add to this jumble of apps – Skype, Yahoo Messenger and many other similar communication channels and it means that we have to have all the different apps installed.
Blackberry has announced that it is opening the BBM service to iPhone and Android users this weekend. Given the popularity of BBM for Blackberry users, it connects up the communication gap between the three different devices.
I haven’t seen a mention of the Windows phone yet, so I wonder how long it will be before Blackberry closes the loop and has all four device types integrated.
I have What’s App? and Viber installed on my Sony Xperia T Android Smartphone and only seem to use Viber at the moment. I’ve occasionally used Skype and Yahoo Messenger, but these tend to chomp away at my battery, so I prefer to keep them switched off.
I’m not sure if it’s a little bit too late for BBM, but I’m going to give it a go. I have a friend with a Blackberry device, so I’ll see how it shapes up once it’s installed on my phone.
I don’t know how the app is going to be supported – whether there are Ads in the app, or whether the app will be a paid download. We shall have to wait and see what this weekend brings. I, for one, will be interested to try it out to see what BBM can offer me.