Watch out WhatsApp, BlackBerry Messenger is headed to iOS and Android this summer

BBM MessageThe keynote presentation from the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando brought with it a variety of new announcements from the reinvigorated firm, from the BlackBerry Q5 smartphone and the BlackBerry 10.1 update, to stage appearances by, “Brand ambassador,” Alicia Keys, and Mercedes Formula One team driver Lewis Hamilton. However, CEO Thorsten Heins held something back to ensure the show ended on a high note, as he revealed BlackBerry Messenger would become a cross-platform messaging service this summer.


That’s right, BlackBerry is planning to release BBM on iOS and Android in the next few months, enabling BlackBerry owners to communicate using the standard messaging service on their phones, with friends who own devices running a different operating system. The first version of the app will feature BBM chats with one or more people, voice note sharing and access to BlackBerry Groups, for collaboration on calendars, photos and certain files.

Future versions of the BBM app will receive BBM Voice and video chatting features, plus access to BBM Channels, which was also announced during the BlackBerry Live keynote. Heins made a big deal over BBM’s user base, telling us it has 60 million active users, with more than 51 million using it on a daily basis. At least 10 billion messages are sent each day, and apparently, half those are read within 20 seconds of receipt.

All this talk does depend on the app being approved for use in both app stores, and while Google Play is unlikely to be a concern, there’s always the chance Apple may make it difficult for BlackBerry. However, rather than targeting iMessage, it’ll be other cross-platform apps such as WhatsApp in BlackBerry’s sights. It was also confirmed the app will be free to download and use.

No actual release date has been mentioned, primarily because it’s down to the app getting approved, so all we can do is wait for more information from BlackBerry.

Mobile

Google Fi is getting support for the next-gen messaging standard, RCS Chat

Google has been pushing the development of the RCS Chat standard, and now it's finally bringing that new standard to its own carrier -- Google Fi. With Chat, customers will get features like read receipts, better group messaging, and more.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.