Is BlackBerry Messenger finally getting ready to make the leap to the desktop?

By Bla1ze on 30 Jul 2013 11:54 am EDT
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If you've been paying attention for the past little while then you already know BlackBerry Messenger is getting ready to go 'cross-platform' though arguably, they'll need to support more platforms than iOS and Android before it's really considered cross-platform. But what if that was already in the works? No, I'm not talking about Windows Phone but instead, something much larger. Your desktop. With BBM Channels already being web based, it would seem as though the time is right for BlackBerry Messenger to make the jump to the desktop and really make a huge splash with their cross-platform support.

For years now, BlackBerry users have been asking about a desktop version of BlackBerry Messenger and while there has been some implementations that allowed for it to happen through some software, it always came at the hands of third party developers and because of that it never really took off and was never really maintained through the recent OS changes. But what if a solution came directly from BlackBerry themselves? It would be better maintained as BlackBerry would be in control of it all.

The old rumor goes that BlackBerry has had BlackBerry Messenger somewhat working internally for a long time now, whether or not that's true, we may never know. What we do know though is that new rumors are suggesting they're working on something possibly for BlackBerry 10.2 that would bring BlackBerry Messenger along with SMS/MMS to the desktop. Although it's been largely overlooked in the BlackBerry 10.2 leaks there is some new apps showing up in the OS, one I've mentioned before by the name of ChatBlend.

That is what we've been hearing what will ultimately be the BlackBerry Messenger/SMS/MMS solution on the desktop. How it'll all work, we're not sure but it seems as though it may still require a USB connection in order to essentially 'mirror' the content onto your computer and allow you to interact with all your contacts that way. Not necessarily unlike solutions that came before it

I've torn through the files a bit and there is some obvious stuff in there such as a new messaging icon, references to SMS, PIM data and some layout of the UI but other than that, it's all a bit vague almost like it was intentionally stripped out. With all that said, you obviously have to take this all with a MASSIVE grain of salt until it becomes a reality but the thought of finally getting BlackBerry Messenger on the desktop is very pleasing to me even if these particular files have nothing to do with it.

What do you all think? In my opinion, BlackBerry Messenger should have been made available on the desktop years ago but due to whatever constraints it never really happened. Would you actually use it if BlackBerry did offer it? I know I certainly would. I have no shame in saying I'm slightly lazy and when I get a BBM message, it would make me more likely to reply if I could do so from my desktop vs. picking up my device, unlocking it, opening BBM and messaging whoever back. Plus, with BBM Channels now available, it starts to make even more sense for it to happen. Sound off in the comments.

Reader comments

Is BlackBerry Messenger finally getting ready to make the leap to the desktop?

181 Comments

awesome is a good start.

bodatious, radical and gnarley are some other (slightly outdated) words that come to mind !!

one problem i have with bbm is that it wont sync across multiple devices like imessage or skype or hangouts. each device has their own bbm

I believe this was brought up on release that BBID's will join with only 1 phone at a time but multiple other devices, but we really don't know as we don't have BB10 on anything other than phones.

I use the same BBID on my Z10 and PlayBook with no issues. BlackBerry World seems to function very well on both devices. Why not something similar for the PC?

Posted via CB10

I don't see why they can't fix this issue now that most if not all BBRY services rely on your BBID rather than a PIN from the days of old. All they need to do is build the Windows/Mac software then log in with your BBID. Then bingo, there ya go. Could work much like Yahoo Messenger.

well, THAT is definitely "manageable" via smart, foresightful programming. Giving users the setup option to add 'several' native account devices should remedy that by giving each BBM user X# of sub-accounts.
By associating each BBM User with X# of devices would ensure that sending to "Pin#######.0 - 9" would reach all 9 devices associated with it.
Each message would then behave like a "group chat" within each BBM user's account.

And, as it is 'now' undelivered messages would be stored on BBRY's cloud until they are delivered and/or for a certain amount of time after they are sent (X# of months ??)

Done.

Extension of BBM to the PC is a logical step to bring more users.
Hopefully the transition to PC and all mobile devices will bring Blackberry new ad revenue (and 'stores') as is the cash machine for Apple and Google.
The phone hardware market is fast becoming all the same.
It is necessary for any phone maker to make money by diversity of means.

I agree 100% all playbook buyers have been badly ripped off! Even the promised support isn't happening. Creeps.

This should be the first step, no doubt about that!! Will be so humiliating for BlackBerry fans to get BBM on PlayBook after iOS and Android will have it!

I just sold my two Playbooks last week while I could still get $100 for them. Gonna buy a Nexus 7

Hmmm advantages, how about...his nexus 7 will receive the updates after it being promised.

PlayBook is dead.

Maybe. But I can tell you that every BlackBerry that I owned it was a real time machine. I can bet that I'll still use my PlayBook, long time after the Nexus 2 will be history. Remember : I still use a Treo 650.
And PlayBook does the trick for me. I was just wondering what can Nexus do better than PlayBook. That's all! :)

Salt taken and I'm not for a standalone desktop version. BBM is considered an "always on" messenger and if folks can sign out or shut it off like yahoo, hotmail, etc. it will be forever changed. Sure if it can link with your current BBM or something, great. No standalone please.

I agree with you. BBM is all about being always ON. I guess if it syncs to multiple devices so the message gets delivered to the PC and smartphone, then that may be a feasible option.

This would be great. But if the Desktop client is dependant on the phone, I hope they make the connection wireless. For me the single biggest reason I grab my phone is to check an incoming BBM. If I can just look at my desktop instead, I would be much less likely to use my phone throughout the day.

Can't wait for this to happen, BlackBerry has something BIG up their sleeves like an Ace in the whole. With all things BBM like BBM voice BBM cash BBM video BBM Channels (the hidden gem) it's all coming together for something BIG like Crackberry Kevin likes to say "MIND BLOWING"

Posted via CB10

If they can properly balance the always on status of the service then I too am mind blown on the possibilities of such a desktop client.

I hope so. Maybe they are finally going to do something radical.

But the A10 hardware disappointment was pretty devastating for me. It was literally 99% of the last straw I have with believing they know what they're doing.

Posted via CB10

The idea of this makes me moist. I think "Chatblend" May be similar on how iMessage and SMS are merged into one streamlined conversation stream.

I hate that and think that's one of the biggest issues with iMessage. The phone is always debating to send texts or iMessage... so sometimes it never srnds sends for extended periods.

I'm new to BBM and loving it, but I truly hope they don't do this! (i came to BB10 from iPhone)

Posted via CB10

Yes, but without the cord.
Do it the Facebook way. Add BBM chats to the Channels streams on the upcoming website.

My PlayBook? Very useful in the shower as a radio and notepad :)

How do you get that right. Please post a pic. Would love to do that on my shower wall/curtain. Currently I've got it in the bathroom playing music, and a waterproof notepad in the shower.

Posted in landscape mode lying on my bed, cause portrait mode is too thin to hold upside down with two hands

BlackBerry Cross Platform: It would be interesting to see 'BlackBerry World' running on Android, PC and Mac. With a special compatibility suite to make all BB10 apps run on any of those platforms.

Cross plaform BBM + desktop support with voice/video call would totally be kickass and I can bet it will be very successful. Without desktop support it will do ok, but not that great imo, it's not that easy to make users switch without giving them some extra.

Sent from the Dark Side

I definitely would like to see a PC version of BlackBerry Messenger, but not via usb. It needs to be an Internet solution so it can be used if the phone is dead or has no service.

Posted via CB10

Agreed, actually a PC version should be stand alone, lots of users out there who don't yet have a smart phone would sign up as an alternative to Skype, then when they go to get a phone they'll automatically be queued up for a BlackBerry!!

Agreed, that would be a dead end move. But it is unlikely what will happen given that they are going cross-platform, getting this to happen with all the other phones would make the whole idea silly.

Similar to Skype service or Google hangouts/gchat? Honestly the only im ing I do is on gchat cause it's convenient with my email. Other than that in don't use instant message or Skype. Would BBM on desktop have any potential user base?

Posted via CB10

Maybe in the short term, but with web traffic from mobile devices growing by leaps and bounds, I'm not sure what the desktop strategy is here.

The strategy would be for the Enterprise and then for school kids.

Skype is massive with people who wouldn't have a smartphone.

BBM would explode brand awareness... mix BlackBerry 10 ads on it, and then BlackBerry is king of the hill.

My Tech-Fleet: Q10; Z10; PlayBook; Surface Pro; Xbox 360; HP TouchPad; iPod Touch 5

"Skype is massive with people who wouldn't have a smartphone." Not sure I understand what you mean.

By enhancing BlackBerry Link/BlackBerry Desktop Software to remotely access BBM contacts which is already stored in the BlackBerry Cloud since BBM 7 anyway, once signed into BBID one could send and receive BBM via link/Desktop software, I think it's possible and could be launched asap. There is no need to turn BBM off in the phone just on silent so that you use the LED as notification as well as the BlackBerry red star on the desktop itself.

Posted via CB10, on Z10STL100-1/10.1.0.1720

I guess I still don't understand what would make a non-bb user leave Google Hangouts or iMessage or Whatsapp?

I'm starting to believe that BB knows they've already lost whomever they've lost and are hoping to cultivate a new user.

They need to consider changing the name of the company(at least here in the U.S.)altogether and distancing themselves from any stigma attached to it.

Live in NYC and ride the subway 3 or 4 times a day. I don't see ANY BBs anymore. Samsung, iPhones and even seeing more and more HTC Ones(the stealth black more than the silver) and noticing an uptick in the number of Windows phones seen out and about.

Reliability. I think Hangouts is pretty good here but iMessage can be bothersome and WhatsApp is a joke.

Of course, users need to be aware of this otherwise it's a moot point.

I'm a commuter to NYC and see 9900's as much as I see iphones, and both leaps and bounds ahead of other phones.

That's fine. But, firstly, I said the NYC subway. Didn't mention anything about the commuter rails as I've never lived in Long Island or Westchester and moved out of New Jersey years ago.

Secondly, you've just confirmed that the most if the folks still using BB are the those who rec'vd them from work.

I'm on the subway past rush hour and repeat that I don't see any BBs.

But this would make sense as there's no signal in most of the subway. So if the only thing you use your phone for is to check emails or texts.

There'd be no real reason to take it out on the train.

BBM/BBM Channels vs i message or what's app, they have no chance, does not come close.
BB1D, PIN, Phone, email and D' and R , BBM toasts, voice , text, video, money and BBM desktop.

Hangout and Skype its complicated or not as smooth like BBM. Nope the party is starting

Posted via CB10

The irony of possibly being able to get my (soon to be replaced - roll on end of contract) Q10 and my new full Win 8 tablet (bought to replace my Playbooks) being able to 'talk' to each other, BBM, text etc is actually making my head feel quite light. I need to sit down and laugh like a maniac because if I don't laugh I think I shall probably cry a little.

They should have did it years ago. BBM is already stale and numbers continue to fall how many more millions of bbm people do they want to lose? Ios and android alone won't keep BBM relevant anymore. Think Ooutside the box for a change. People in business are always on a PC for the most part makes sense to have a desktop version for Mac, Linux and windows.

Would love this. Can't count how many times I was sitting next to my desktop and had to chat on the much less comfortable mobile qwerty. Keeping my fingers crossed :)

Posted via CB10

BBM/ BBM Channels Will be one of the most shared standards to Facebook Twitter LinkedIn and the best Social e-Commerce Enterprise Brand Messenger period ! Desktop will be a Bonus $$

Posted via CB10

I think it's great step forward, but they need many steps forward. The competition won't sit back. The media won't lay off. None the less, it will be very interesting how it pans out.

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry is the epitome of last week hence the trouble they are in now should of been done ages ago and they take forever to do anything innovative and lose the interest big meh

Posted via Z10

You think there will be Bridge ?? I blv BlackBerry downsized the Bridge Team long before BB10 released.

I do really love that I can control BlackBerry via USB/Bluetooth/Wifi/NFC. Back on my 9700, I used TinyController to control my BlackBerry via USB and Wifi. I found it even faster when I typed on full size keyboard, and I was proud to let my friend saw that I can control my phone on Desktop. Now with BB10, it's no longer available. I hate to switch between my Desktop and my BlackBerry to chat with friend on different application (yes I cannot ask them what to use to communicate with me); or simply want to send an URL of an interesting web page I am watching on Desktop to my friend via BBM, I have no way to do it directly but send the URL to my email on BlackBerry and then copy & paste to BBM. I do hope that people in BlackBerry can see this thread and see the needs from their loyal user base.

Desktop would be a great advantage for BBM to use against Whatsapp... One thing I hate is that I can't message my Whatsapp contacts from my computer.

Though I have to say, it would be fairly easy for BBRY to have a desktop client that only relies on BBID instead of having to have a connection to the phone... Though I suppose that depends on whether or not they would be willing to store conversations on the cloud

Cross-platform and Desktop would finally replace Gtalk, Hangouts (whatever). I use Windows desktop and BB; my wife uses Android and iMac. Google Hangouts is currently the IM we use on a daily basis. I would love to replace it with BBM.

If it requires connecting to your phone, then essentially it'd be like Bridge. I don't think a USB connection would even be necessary. Have Link connect to your device wirelessly. They would just need to have BB Link work with Android and iOS devices using BBM. Or they could keep this desktop bridge functionality BB-device exclusive.

This makes too much sense to not happen. You want to be the IM king and kill of WhatsApp and the others, a desktop client has to be part of the plans.

Do it please, BB!

There are a few things that BBM could do that would make it the number one messaging application by a mile.
* Text, voice and video all in one (takes the best of Skype, iMessage and What's App and puts them in single app
* Users identified by BBID linked to all devices in use by the user, like iMessage (mobile, laptop/desktop, tablet)
* Screen sharing - a key differentiator because no one else does this in the mobile space, the Cisco Webex offering is partial functionality with mobile
* Shared calendars with integration with device native calendars, cross-platform of course, would be an added plus

All of these things bring in the eyeballs. And if you have eyeballs, it can be monetized. If it can be monetized, BBRY lives on.

Get those things down, and no other single messaging platform could touch it.

I realize they are making bbm channels online, but I think they should include all BBM features to the website, and make this their first priority. They already own the rights to bbm.com, so why not turn it into their bbm online client? If you make it mobile friendly, you could invest in this first and send out ios, android, windows, mac os x, etc. Apps more gradually. This way you could focus on developing for one "platform" while reaching a broad user base, essentially killing multiple birds with one stone. It would aldo give you some testing ground, and allow blackberry owners to have a desktop/playbook client.

Sure, we'll lose the "always on" attitude that we've come to love, but that's why we have the distinctive icons separating sent and received messages.

Posted via CB10

I think having BBM on the desktop is a natural step for BBM. It will be interesting to see what pros and cons there will be to using it compared to other IM programs. Chances are I'll pick up my phone to answer anyways, but I could see how some people might like to have the option of replying to BBMs while on another device.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

I would use it every day. Wouldn't love having to plug it in using usb though I won't lie.

Posted via CB10

BBM on desktop would be the ish. I've been hoping they would and should have done this when blackberry was on top, or at least roll it out at the same time they roll out the cross platform bbm.

Posted via CB10 for Z10

THIS. And then some more!

Wow, imagine if screen share made it to the Desktop! We could, literally, run mettings using the phones alone.

But they need to sort the BBID issue. If we are forced to have a different BBID on the PC and on the phone, this will just not take off (yep, time to copy iMessage. heh).

BBM needs to truly embrace being cross-platform. That is more than just adding iOS and Android. They should support Windows, OSX, Windows Phone, Windows 8, and probably have a web client as well.

If they go cross-platform and go to PC's and Mac, they could potentially take a lot of skype users away... So far it looks like BBM is more polished and has more features than skype.

Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10

Yes! Yes! Yes! That'll make it much more useful for those of us on computers all day.

Also, I'd like to see BBM launch on Android and iOS with BBM Audio and BBM video. I want others to experience BBM as a very real competitor to skype and know from the start that audio and video are there. You won't have people's attention in the same way post-launch.

Posted via CB10

This needs to happen! It would be amazing and bring people back to BlackBerry! Obviously i and i think everyone would prefer it to be without a usb connection but if it was like that i think I'd still use it and there would likely be an update in the future! Can't wait for all the amazing ideas BlackBerry has to come!

Posted via CB10

I think for those that don't have WiFi, they can connect via usb, (and bring back BIS. Then it will be tops

Posted in landscape mode lying on my bed, cause portrait mode is too thin to hold upside down with two hands

As long as it's wireless and syncs across like imessage.

It should be transparent.

Posted via CB10

This would make my life perfect. As a PC user there are no good ways of chatting and sharing things (at least none that I know of or like) with co-workers, family, and friends. BlackBerry, get it done!

Posted via CB10 / BlackBerry Z10

It needs to be on the desktop WITH device screen sharing --> desktop so help desk staff can troubleshoot user issues w/o even needing a device much less having to switch from their desktops to devices to troubleshoot their customer issues.

If they would be able to make that happen...I have been wanting this for some time now...

Posted via CB10

Isn't that like kinda going backwards? but whatever, the more users the greater the adoption

MO MONEY, MO MONEY, MO MONEY!

Without a desktop version the whole cross platform thing is ridiculous... just think how attractive and compelling a desktop version would be to marketing agencies for advertising... there's the "monetizing" of BBM, nowhere else!!!

But no matter what, the most important is that whatever they do it has to be solid from the very beginning...!!!!!! Otherwise don't waste our and your time and the cash pile preserved the last years...

Posted via CB10

I don't see why a USB cable would be needed. I mean, it should be an option, but it should also work over WiFi. We already have an established wireless connection between the phone and our computer with wireless sync and remote file access.

I absolutely want BBM on the desktop with video chat and screen sharing.

I have talked to by BlackBerry rep about this a few times. It would be great for my outside sales force to be able to quickly access my inside sales force and share content.

What a great business tool!

Posted via CB10

Slightly off topic, but is there any way to swap the direction of the chat bubbles? I hate having my message come in from the left and the person I'm talking to on the right. It just feels backwards to me.

If this is lined up with 10.2 and BBM Cross-Platform and all drop the day after it is officially announced it would be huge. Timing is everything it seems to me, don't talk....do!! BBRY has dropped their plans way too early and have suffered as a result, and it seems to have compounded on them. With the upcoming deliverables they need to be early if possible, on-time with certainty, add an unexpected surprise and then make it all available within a day of the announcement. That will impress people and get them scrambling to see what was delivered. Waiting an extra 2 or 3 weeks or months deflates enthusiasm.

Blackberry needs to do whatever they can that's new and far reaching. If blackberry is releasing software to the masses it's hard for people to consider them dead

I can see this being very big. BUT only if large companies are still on board with BB's, and BBM and only if it works with BBM groups!! We only have 30+ lines, and it would be very nice to be able to send and receive both private and group chats at our desk. Most of our employees are in the field, but for those of us in the office this would be fantastic. It's not about being lazy as much as it would be a ton more convenient.
It is things like this that make me thing BB has a bright future ahead, but only if these thing actually come!!

In addition to cross platform, BBM also needs to be on desktops for efficient enterprise office-mobile messaging as an alternative to email. Just as BYOD forced BB to go cross platform MDM with BES10, this is being done for enterprise first and consumers second.

My cousin asked Gary Klassen at BlackBerry Live.

Also, one BBID can be shared between one phone and upto 5 PlayBooks. If if have 2+ phones, it's advised to have separate BBID's.

This should be BB priority when they go cross platform , we need more BBM users for BB to grow and not die a slow painful death

This would be a good move for BlackBerry. I've been wanting BBM on my laptop for quite some time. It would increase productivity and keep me moving.

Posted via CB10

This would be a great move. I looked online for info on a BBM for computers and kept coming up flat. This will work

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

Having to have to connect your device to your computer in order to use BBM on your desktop seems a bit lame, but I still want to know when we're going to get BBM for the Playbook... if ever.

We're not getting BBM for PlayBook and you won't be able to sideload the Android version as the PlayBook's Android Runtime isn't a high enough version.

Darn shame... smh... this is the least they can do for us BlackBerry PlayBook owners, update the tablet so we can at least side load apps.

With the update to BlackBerry Link for wifi access to BB10 devices and the requirement to sign into your BBID, maybe this could be a way forward.

Posted via CB10

Even more awesome would be getting my Q10 to communicate in any way with any of my computers! Right now, I can only transfer via media card, but then my Otterbox kind of made that a pain. I'm loyal, own stock, and already have a BBM channel, but can't get aboard for the ride. Call me a little frustrated!

Posted via CB10

It would only be good if you could have BBM on on a computer without the need to plug in your Blackberry. It would have to work like Facebook Chat for it to be really worth it. They would probably have to have a person use a new PIN but who cares if you could merge contacts in BBM like we do in the contacts app.

Posted via CB10

Blackberry is too much busy with bbm while playbook native apps doesnt have any updates. grrrrrrr never mind the bb10 to playbook but pleassssssssssee update native apps on pb.

They should have done it the day they announced BBM going cross platform, just like they have have had those apps ready that day too.

Heins and co are so inept that I doubt they could execute this properly.

Sorry to have turned so sour, but I'm truly disappointed with management at BBRY.

Posted via CB10

IMO they need to launch a PC App at the same time or ASAP after launching on iOS and Android. And the PC app needs to sync current chats with the mobile device.

To compete with LINE, who just surpassed 200M users this is a must. The only hope they have in making an impact here and catch up a little is to crap all over WhatsApp (which isn't hard) and to also be a serious contender with LINE which is a little harder given their well-designed PC App and mature mobile clients.

Posted via CB10

Bla1ze... you're a little bit late on this article mate. Since day one when BBM was mentioned to go cross-platform, I said that this was bigger than just mobile devices. The entire idea was to use BBM as a major communicator taking on giants like Microsoft Lync and other office communicators. BBM will be the number 1 communicator on major enterprise business in the near future.

Bring it on, I say...

BBM in desktop and across the device reminds me of fb messenger which is simultaneously syncing whenever or wherever you are, provided that you have logged in on all your platforms. It is a good move though for bbm lovers but the concept is not new. The only problem I have encountered with bbid was, whenever I use mine to a newer device, all my contacts is being transferred to that device and the old device seems to be useless for bbm as it is being associated with PIN which is good for security but I dont how it can be implemented in desktops or other OS platforms.

Posted via CB10

Sounds like an awesome idea... but it better not be via USB. That's 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I highly doubt maybe people would plug in their phone just so they could use BBM on a desktop.

Blackberry, Just let me uninstall BBM and stop being a bunch of control freaks.

Would you be able to uninstall it from your desktop computer if you decided you didn't want it or would it be like deliberately installing a rootkit virus

I personally wouldn't advocate the idea it's great although it's not new! I don't think it will work in the past Instant messaging was integrated in the desktop and Laptop's. and transition into something more reliable were you communicate anywhere and any place and not be behind a desk! This lead to the demise of windows messenger.

Posted via CB10

It would be cool and also it would need to have solid features that the other current apps do not.
Well, for one, it would be cool on the desktop as it will be easier to reply too when we are not out on the go...

The BB browser is good. Move that to the desk top along with BBM and Blackberry can start making add revenue like Google......adoption should be high as it would help flush out the eco system.