Blackberry Messenger on Android Review

BBM on Android
BBM on Android

Let’s cut to the chase: it’s YAMA!

That’s right, I said YAMA!!! Yet Another Messenger App.

I know the Fan-berries are going to get their panties in a knot because I didn’t say that it’s revolutionary or something like that. But it’s not. In fact it looks indistinguishable from Google+ Hangouts, or Twitter DM’s, or any other messenger on my phone!

Don’t tell me “but BBM is secure!” Because so is Hangouts! Even Twitter is secure!!!

Forget the tired delivered and read indicators argument in favour of BBM. Back when the carriers were experimenting with data networks and connectivity was minimal this was a comforting feature. But now that I’m pumping data through my mobile phone faster than my DSL modem I think connectivity is taken for granted. And really, I don’t care if you read my message, I care if you acted on it! If I say “meet me at Starbucks in 10 minutes” then you can read that message all you want but if you’re late you’re triple-caramel-pumpkin-spice-skinny-latte-machiato is going to get cold and I’m not buying you another one!!!

Let’s look at the numbers for some messengers that work on Blackberry, Android and iOS:

  • WhatsApp has over 325 million active users 
  • Viber has over 200 million active users
  • Google+ Hangouts (not available on Blackberry) has over 100 million active users (an estimate based on the over 400 million active Google+ users)
  • Facebook Messenger probably has just under 100 million active users (they don’t reveal those numbers so it’s just an estimate)
  • Kik has over 80 million active users – which is ironic since the founders originally worked for Blackberry

BBM clocks in somewhere around the 55 million mark. So you’re more likely to find your friends using something other than BBM.

And don’t forget the grand-daddy of them all: SMS!!! Venerable old text messages, they reach not just smart phones, but feature phones too. And with software like MightyText and iMessage they reach tablets and computers as well! In fact there are BILLIONS of active monthly SMS users! And there’s nothing to install or configure, it just works out of the box!

In my humble opinion, BBM was something that made Blackberry unique, something they could distinguish themselves with. Something for people to say “I want BBM” and they’d have to get a Blackberry to get it.

The reason for having a Blackberry is now limited to inertia on the enterprise side; and nostalgia or pride on the consumer side. Releasing BBM for Android (and iPhone) really just serves to prolong the inertia since IT departments can now re-assure their remaining Blackberry users that they’ll be able to communicate with all their iPhone or Galaxy toting colleagues using BBM.

I sure hope those people interested in buying Blackberry have a better business plan than relying on the inertia of existing customers to carry them forward!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

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Corporate Greed is the Worst Public Relations at Yellow Pages

You know those thick yellow books we all have at home, that are really useful for boosting up kids at the dining table when you run out of actual booster seats? Well, turns-out there was a time before tablets, smart phones, and the Internet when people actually marched their fingers through those books to find phone numbers of businesses! Really!!!

Yellow Media, the publisher of those books – the Yellow Pages as they were known, has run into some trouble lately. Much like RIM, who’s market roared past them while they were busy gloating about how great they were, Yellow Media has also suffered from ignoring their market and assuming the old model was the only model. Not to say they haven’t tried, sites like AutoTrader.ca was quite successful (which is why they were able to sell it when they needed cash) and RedFlagDeals.com is my go to site when comparison shopping.

But these web sites just don’t provide the revenue to keep their print business afloat – I doubt any web site could ever produce the financial results that a traditional publishing business had. It’s just too easy to publish on the Internet – any idiot can set up a Content Management System (CMS) and populate with stuff – business listings, forums, news, etc.. If they’re serious they can get their own domain. And if they’re really serious they can even host the service themselves!

The leaders and directors of Yellow Media missed this simple fact. They thought no one could assail they’re lofty position as sole provider of phone numbers to North Americans. They missed the obvious fact the people’s web browser home pages most point to Google or Bing with a convenient search bar at the top, where they can type in the name of a company; iPhone users can just ask Siri! Android users can just ask Google! (I’m sure Windows Phone users can do something similar too).

So what happens to you when the world rushes past your astute leadership and whacks you in the ass as it laps you? Well, if you’re a director of Yellow Media you give yourself a raise – a 26% raise! Because all the patting yourself on the back is hard work and deserves some recognition! And in case anyone (like my, in this blog, in this post) points out the obvious, well, you back yourself up by spending another $300,000 to produce a report that says “look, all these other companies gave their directors big raises!” Of course you ignore that fact that your shortlist of companies are among the most successful in their industries!

I don’t agree with the Occupy movement in any way, shape or form. But it’s hard to not have sympathy when you see stuff like this!

BTW, don’t use your iPad as a booster – even the new iPad with it’s added thickness won’t be sufficient!

Source: The Globe and Mail

Cross-posted on 2FatDads