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BBM for Android and iOS release delays explained by BlackBerry employee

Andrew Williams

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Following the recent delays to the BBM for Android app, a BlackBerry support team member has explained a little more about why it and the BBM iOS apps have been postponed.

The BBM Android app release was pushed back after a version of the BBM client was leaked onto Google Play, causing a raft of ‘fake’ copycat apps to appear on the store.

Speaking directly with TrustedReviews, a member of BlackBerry’s product support team has explained that the original leak of the BBM app for Android likely came from one of the mobile phone networks. They stated: “One week before we launched BBM as cross-platform, every one of the carriers that I spoke to said 'can I have the app, please?' We went back to the guys at Canada [BlackBerry HQ] and they said, “it’s a really closed beta”… and if you send the beta out instead of putting it into stores, what will happen is it will get out there.

“Guess what, it got out there. Somebody did that, somebody launched it onto Google Play. And it went ballistic.”

The BlackBerry employee went on to explain that one of the key problems was that it was an “early Beta version” that was leaked, rather than the one intended for release. “We had 1.1 million users in a matter of eight hours. We had to stop that, or it would have gotten out of hand,” he explained, “The problem is Google’s space – you’ve got no control and we learnt our lesson big time with that.”

That the wrong version of BBM for Android was leaked wasn’t the only problem to surface. The surge in interest also alerted BlackBerry to potential server load issues.

“We’ve got 70 million users, 60 million on BBM. The way BBM works is quite different to Whatsapp or the other apps. People are more engaged with it, will use it a lot more. We reckon most people who have it use it for two hours a time – per day," the BlackBerry representative told us.

“The engagement rate is massive… If you get that number of people coming on-board, with the data traffic that implies – we’ve got to do massive testing… With the {beta} version we picked up some problems with scalability.”

BlackBerry’s Product Support team member suggested that the roll-out of BBM for Android and iOS will need to be more measured. “First of all we have to figure out what happened. Then they’ve got to pull out... You’ve then got to retrench and say, we’ve got a million users, we’ll let them on the system, and then not let anyone else on it.”

He suggested that huge interest in BBM for other platforms would create “enough pressure” to see a wider release, although had no more updates on a more exact revised release date.

Next, read our round-up of the best Samsung Galaxy phones

Zubeir

October 1, 2013, 3:01 pm

Too little too late Blackberry. You were forefront, but decided to have long sleep. And when you woke up everybody stole your pillows and duvets.

Vishan Chetty

October 1, 2013, 4:00 pm

Did the blackberry support dude just suggest that they let a LIMITED number of people use cross platform bbm and block everyone else? I'd stick to whatsapp... They haven't woke up yet! They're still asleep

svg1234

October 1, 2013, 9:33 pm

In other words, incompetent fools are running Blackberry. I'm wondering, how old do you have to be to figure out that if you give all the carriers a beta version - it will somehow be leaked? 5? 6?

virtual_office

October 2, 2013, 5:37 am

Is this really true? Android and iOS will soon enjoy the use of BBM? Thank you for this great post!

MC Wong

October 2, 2013, 2:05 pm

These beta pre release versions should be time based trial versions, say 1 week. Are they so amateurish to release a software and not expect it to be pirated and copied? And one with bugs that can crash their servers!
Hard to believe they're approved by the US govt. Also the bb phones are similar to android devices where apps can be side loaded so they can't blame google playstore as the download source. Even if it's controlled, how do they expect to stop the whole world from getting it from other sources.
Why wasn't the iPhone version released on apple's Appstore as scheduled since that version is not the beta and not the culprit version? The android versions can come later.
Too many holes in their excuses for us to believe its entirely true.
Another fallacy is their assumption that whatsapp users are less engaged. Bbm users spends 2 hours but after switching to iPhone or android only chat for a few minutes daily? Those are the platforms ex BB user jump to.

MC Wong

October 2, 2013, 2:13 pm

Whatsapp and friends will not be sleeping while bbm get fixed. The longer it takes, the more time whatsapp has to enhance their servers and software. By the time bbm is released, it would be light years behind those new features. Just because blackberry sleeps on the job, dont expect whatsapp to do the same. They will be working round the clock to jump ahead.

Mike

October 2, 2013, 5:26 pm

i wish Blackberry would of just told the truth and said the app wasn't ready. Also, if the app that was side loaded on Android was a beta version, and 1.1 million people downloaded it, why not just release an update through the play store to fix the issues? There are plenty of Beta versions of apps in the play store and they get fixed with an update. Blackberry was just full of poopie with no app to deliver on time.

Jeffrey

October 2, 2013, 10:45 pm

'Why not release an update through google play' Blackberry didn't release the early beta on google play, it was leaked by someone else. So how exactly can they 'release an update' for what? A app they hadn't even launched. Android and it's users are indeed pathetic.

eibel

October 3, 2013, 4:13 am

BBM will never be on android or iphone...is only a way to pay attention so blackberry can be known again...is only a dream of blackberry to be a king again.like before....

Mike

October 3, 2013, 12:44 pm

Well, jerk off, obviously the beta version was created by BBM, somehow leaked out from BBM world in Canada and put up on the internet for people to download. So, just because BBM didn't wind up on the play store, doesn't make it official? Go back to your IOS 7 device iSheep. Bahhh Bahhh Bahhh

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