BlackBerry failed miserably in its attempt to bring BBM to Android and iOS last week, but the Canadian company hasn’t given up on making its popular messaging service available to all. In fact, it isn’t just targeting other mobile platforms, but it’s also planning to bring BBM to your desktop, too.
BlackBerry showed off BBM for Windows during BlackBerry Jam Asia this week. It looks exactly how you’d expect a desktop instant messaging client to look, only with BlackBerry 10’s buttons and menu bars. A Mac application wasn’t previewed, but given the company’s new focus on making BBM available to all, we’re assuming there is one in development.
N4BB reports that BBM for desktops works similarly to BBM for the BlackBerry PlayBook; rather than allowing you to login to BBM on two devices, you create a “bridge” between your computer and your smartphone and messages are sent and received through your phone.
A desktop app could give BBM a much greater chance at competing with already-popular cross-platform messaging clients like WhatsApp, which are only available on smartphones. Critics have been questioning whether BBM has a unique feature that could lure users away from these services, and a good desktop app could certainly be it.
But BlackBerry needs to bring BBM to Android and iOS first, of course, and it’s having problems trying to do that. It briefly made BBM for iPhone available over the weekend, but it had to halt its rollout and pull the app due to problems with its servers. BBM for Android didn’t even get a chance to grace Google Play.
BlackBerry has promised that it’s working hard to fix the problems and that BBM’s cross-platform rollout will continue later, but it’s unclear at this point when we can expect to see the app.