BlackBerry ‘pauses’ launch of BBM for Android and iOS

BlackBerry Messenger BBM iOS Android

Picture the scene. Friday, BlackBerry HQ. Conference room. The company has just announced it intends to lay off a third of its workforce, adding that it expects to announce financial losses of almost a billion dollars for the June to August quarter.

In a desperate bid to inject some positivity into the proceedings, CEO Thorsten Heins says with a smile, “But hey, at least we’re all set for the launch of BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS this weekend, eh.”

At this moment, an awkward silence envelops the room. Some of those present turn their gaze to the floor. Others brush specs of dust from the conference table.

Heins: “It’s not ready, is it.”


BlackBerry Messenger was supposed to arrive on Google Play at 7am ET on Saturday, and iTunes just after midnight on Sunday. But no, it didn’t. Not properly, anyway.

According to the troubled mobile maker, an “unreleased version” of the Android app appeared online some time on Saturday. However, this app “caused issues”, leading the Ontario-based company to pull the iTunes version, which had seemingly launched without a hitch, and halt the rollout across both platforms until the problems are sorted out.

‘Interest and enthusiasm’

Despite the obvious mess, BlackBerry couldn’t resist painting the (attempted) launch in a positive light.

“The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible,” the company said in a somewhat confusing post on the official BlackBerry blog.

It went on, “Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. We are pausing the global rollout of BBM for Android and iPhone.”

It said anyone who’s already downloaded BBM for iOS can continue using the app, though the unreleased Android app will be disabled. It added that only when the issues have been solved will the app be properly launched, though it gave no indication as to when this might happen.

Android and iOS users who haven’t entirely given up on the idea of using BBM on their device are advised to follow @BBM on Twitter for the latest updates or sign up for updates at

Beleaguered BlackBerry is apparently looking to sell itself off within the next couple of months, though the bundle of bad news delivered over the last couple of days will do little to help woo potential buyers.

Health & Fitness

Nike’s Android app is bricking its $350 Adapt BB self-lacing shoes

A firmware update for Nike's new self-lacing Adapt BB shoe appears to be bricking the $350 footwear for some owners. Android users have said the Nike app no longer pairs with the shoe, rendering the tightening mechanism useless.
Home Theater

Here's a handy guide to mirroring your favorite devices to your TV screen

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device (or PC) to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen.

The 2-year-old Nokia 6 is now being updated to Android Pie

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for February 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for February 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.