BlackBerry finally opened up the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app beta to all Windows Phone users. Unlike most of BlackBerry’s attempts at creating BBM apps for other platforms, this version actually looks like it was designed to match the Windows Phone aesthetic. The BBM iPhone and Android apps look almost identical to the original BlackBerry app, making for a rather unintuitive experience.
During the BlackBerry Security Summit earlier this week, BlackBerry executives explained that the company used to think that BBM had to look the same on all platforms, but now they’ve realized that it’s better to design the app to suit the OS. BlackBerry’s Global Enterprise Services President John Sims said that the apps need to “be more of a native app experience.” Although he didn’t announce any plans specifically, Sims seemed to hint that the iOS and Android BBM apps might get a makeover soon.
The BBM app for Windows Phone is the first to match the overall user interface well. The app features the same tile UI used by Microsoft on Windows Phone, so it blends in with the overall user experience better. In addition to looking nice, this version of BBM for Windows Phone offers the full range of features that BBM users love, including BBM chats, BBM groups, and the BBM feed.
It also has a cool pin to Start option, which lets you place individual chats and group conversations to the home screen on your Windows Phone for easy access. You can pin and unpin conversations at any time, so if a conversation is no longer so pressing, you can unpin it from the screen and simply view it in the app again later.
The app is available for download from the Windows Store now and works on Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 devices.