BBM for iOS Reviewed: Too Safe To Fail?

BBM for iOS Reviewed: Too Safe To Fail? on Freepps Top Blog
The BlackBerry of 2015 is not the BlackBerry we used to adore. The only thing that is left untouched is the perfect quality of phones and loyalty to hardware keyboards. But BlackBerry’s Apple-like modus operandi with a tight ecosystem of hardware and software has come to the end. The company even started making Android phones!

The changes have another side. Finally, iPhone and Android users can join the most secure messaging network, the BlackBerry Messenger. The official app for iOS is developed by BlackBerry, Ltd., and it would have been fantastic ten years ago, but it’s a cloud reality now. You don’t have to buy a BlackBerry phone with its out-of-mainstream OS to enjoy the most protected communication channels.

Another consequence of this revision is the increasing audience of this messenger. By December 2015 over 200 million people joined the BBM community from other platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone). So you don’t have to wait desperately until someone from your phone book decides to discover the BlackBerry world!

Not just another messenger

What do we expect from a mobile messenger of the 2010's? It should be able to exchange text messages, color them up with emoticons and stickers, send photos and videos, links with page preview, share locations. In an Android environment, it’s possible to send any files from your local memory. iOS users - due to obvious reasons - may exchange only cloud-located files, for example, from Dropbox.

There should also be public chats, private conferences and message broadcasting to multiple users with one tap.

Yes, BBM has it all. You can send an unlimited number of messages within BBM network, and they can be of any length. So it is with other types of data: you can attach anything attachable. And yes, this messenger supports push notifications so you don’t have to keep it running and eating your battery like a hungry shark. You’re always online and connected.

Safe and secure

But remember what BlackBerry is famous for. Its security measures have become not a corporate standard only, but even a state one. Switching the platform didn’t change priorities: BlackBerry puts security and quality first.
First, you don’t use your phone number as a login. The registering process looks a bit old-school: you enter your nickname, your email (it has to be unique) and your password. After that you have to confirm your registration with a link in a letter and to enter the password again.
BlackBerry Messenger provides several measures of security:

· No multiple logins. Only one device can be connected with certain BlackBerry account. If another device is online with your account, it will be disconnected as you connect from another one.

· Private chat mode. It should be accepted by all its participants. As soon as the invitations are accepted, you start you chat in a highly protected mode.

· Expiring messages. You can set the self-destruction timer. The message will be available for a limited time only. The sender assigns the lifetime of his/her message: from 1 second up to 1 minute. The message is displayed as hidden; the receiver should tap and hold to open it. While the message is open the timer at the top of the screen indicates how much time is left until the message expires.

· Message retraction. If you have sent something not meant for your vis-à-vis, you can retract your message and it will be shown as retracted. If the receiver didn’t read it, he will not be able to.

There are even different levels of access. Yes, if there are BBM users among your contacts from the phone book, you can start a chat with them immediately. You can exchange text messages, files, and other types of data. They are called simply Contacts. And you don’t need to add them manually: the app scans our phonebook like WhatsApp or Viber do and adds anyone with a BBM account.

But there is another level: BBM Contacts. You cannot add a BBM contact right away or be just added as a BBM contact. The procedure includes sending an invitation and waiting until the other side accepts it. Yes, it’s all about security. This two-level gradation was made in order to keep your data private from the ones you didn’t authorize to see it. 

There are different ways of adding BBM contacts: via QR code displayed by one of the users on the screen of a mobile device, via PIN code instead of a mobile number, via email with later confirmation, via SMS or NFC if your device has NFC module onboard.

Only BBM contacts can make voice calls to each other, see each other’s profiles and status updates. By the way, phone calls are of great quality. You can turn off your mic or speakers while talking.
This control system makes sure you won’t let any stranger into your confidential room. There’s only place for those you have willingly invited or accepted.

Why BBM?

The first and the main reason to select this messenger is security. You don’t pass control over your account to the app algorithms; you control your security yourself. No automatically added contacts, no messages with important info left undeleted, no authorized devices out of your control.

There are some limitations, of course. No video calls, unlike Skype or Viber, no easy contact list filling unlike Viber or WhatsApp, the contacts system is complicated. But if you put security and safety above all, well, that’s the right kind of messenger for you.

Antoine DeGrasse


Avid rhyme maker, master of ceremonies, lord of the phones.

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