CrackBerry asks: Which cross-platform instant messaging app do you use to talk to your iPhone and Android buddies?

By James Richardson on 7 Sep 2012 02:24 pm EDT
 Cross-platform IM

When it comes to instant messaging, us BlackBerry users all know we have the best solution at our fingertips with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). But in this day and age with the iPhone and Android taking the majority of market share, I was interested to see how BlackBerry users communicate with the opposition. Luckily there are an array of cross platform instant messaging applications available to us -- and as well as the stand alone ones there are also the integrated ones such as IM+, Nimbuzz and Trillian.

Every BlackBerry comes with Gtalk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo talk pre-loaded, but are those the ones people are using to chat to their Android and iPhone buddies? Or do you just skip them all together and use SMS?

So I compiled a short list of what I see are the best solutions for cross platform instant messaging and would love to hear your thoughts. So get voting and add your thoughts to the comments section. I have a suspicion who will be the victor but I could well be proved wrong.

Reader comments

CrackBerry asks: Which cross-platform instant messaging app do you use to talk to your iPhone and Android buddies?


I use either LiveProfile or KIK on my Bold 9930 when I want to cross platform I.M.....but still prefer BBM to both of them.

WhatsApp is disgusting it pulls all you address book and thier servers and there is no way to select on certain contacts.

i use WhatsApp its horrible missplaced style of converstion and how the contact work is ugly and horrible. I would like for this app to be improved but than again i only have very very few people on it so i pref my BBM lol.

Same for me. I prefer BBM but Facebook messenger is the only place where a can reach all of my friend at once. What ever they are on IOS or Android or even on a computer.

Why have a dozen IM apps on my phone and constantly switch between them for different friends when SMS reaches them all from one interface?

Not surprised at all from the results of this poll!

I use whatsapp whenever I need to send a photo or a long distance text, other than that it sucks! I use text messages.

I use gtalk to communicate with people. Only issue is that the RIM GTalk client as of the latest versions has many issues on OS6. It disconnects frequently without notification, does not deliver messages sent while offline either. Got fed up with people sending me messages for an hour before realizing it had disconnected me but never told Google.

Switched to whatsapp and hated it
Using IM+ on my playbook and Numbuzz on my BB 9800.

I dislike Nimbuzz too as it sucks battery life like no tomorrow (it easily halves my batt. life) but it works.

+1 Not just OS 6. I'm on OS 7.1 and GTalk constantly logs off without telling you its gone offline :(

I was surprised not to see the option "I don't talk to friends with iPhones" - LOL

Seriously, why wasn't there an option for SMS thru the BBM interface? I don't use it, but I'm sure there are those who do.

Personally I think these cross platform handle media transfer much better than BBM. I sent a picture to a BBM contact once, and was like, what the heck is going on, very archaic. Text wise however, nothing is as efficient or as pleasurable as BBM.

Almost all my friends have moved to Android so i use Gtalk. My brother recently switched to iphone 4s and uses gtalk with IM+ so no problem but yeah, it was good using bbm to chat and transfer pics and voice notes with bro when he was using bb. I also use Talk Client on playbook for gtalk. Bring bb10 fast so i can persuade my brother to come back to bb. :)

I use's just okay....I might feel better about it if WhatsAppPlus was made for bb and not just Android....then I could theme it lol !

I have had Trillian on my BB ever since they came out with a BB version. I still prefer BBM over most of the other chat platforms, but have friends and family on Kik, Google Talk, and a few people who chat over Facebook. Thenie thing about Trillian is just having one app to access all the different chat platforms. Plus, I like how it handles push notifications when not active (saves battery life).

I use Trillian as well. For the same reasons as stated above, plus I also use it on the desktop so conversations are tracked on both places...

stuck with SMS. i don't have a single friend on iPhone or Android that is smart enough to figure out anything else. heck, half of them pay by the text and STILL can't figure out that Email is FREE!!!!!

I use Touch by Enflick...defeninitly one of the best if not the best multiplatform messengers. I've tried most of the others. Touch...IMO, is the best one so far.

I've tried several and I think Touch comes closest to my BBM experience so far.. speed of delivery, a UI I enjoy and feature set for group comment on shared media.. one more requested feature would be location sharing and i'm all set.

I actually use it to talk to some blackberry users as well.

LOVE THE FACT I don't have to give my number to everyone I wanna IM.. kinda kills that level of privacy.

I use SMS through BBM. Works great and I don't have to change apps. The only issue I've run across is when a work phone was passed from one person to another, BBM would not let me change the username. Eventually got that solved and now all is good.

Maybe this would cound as plain old sms, but I use google voice for everything that's not bb related. I am not paying an sms plan man, such a rip off.

Same as above. I use BBM to text my friends on other platforms - very useful feature - should be an option on the poll!!

Half my family is BlackBerry; half Apple. I have a playbook, no phone. I use KIK on an iPod to text the BlackBerry half and iMessage to text the Apple side. It took 10minutes to get KIK going on IPod; about a month to get a poorly functioning version on the Playbook which I soon abandoned because it seemed to drain the battery.

I investigated the others you listed. All either don't work without a cell # or have a learning curve which I am not prepared to do since the iPod works so well.

I love my Playbook but the inability to communicate cross platform is forcing me to Apple.

I agree that extra text charges are a hugh ripoff. But since I left blackberry for android galaxy s3 I use SMS to stay in touch with everyone. I do miss a lot of the features from my blackberry but the 9800 torch was so behind times and I din't want to replace it with a OS7 device with BB10 just around the corner but got so tired of the 9800 I had to make a change even if temporary.

I actually think whatsapp is better than bbm. The UI looks wayy better! And i love how your account is connected to your number!

I found whatsapp to not be a bad looking app, but I HATED that they scanned my addressbook and logged me to there server, and I can't get them to remove me from their server now that I refuse to use their app, my friends who use the App say I'm still listed as having it.

I had a lot of debate in the forums about how I don't want an IM client tied to my phone number, with many many contacts whatsapp method of broadcasting that you have the app installed is invasive. IF by default Whatsapp didn't tell people I had the app until I contacted them or until I approved them to know it would be a little less intrusive.

but because of the company's lack of care for privacy I will never use their app

I actually think whatsapp is better than bbm. The UI looks wayy better! And i love how your account is connected to your number!

I actually think whatsapp is better than bbm. The UI looks wayy better! And i love how your account is connected to your number!

Maybe fb messenger should have had its own position in the list?
Anyway, I use several of those, but could only select one and could only vote once.
fb Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and SMS - mostly within the BBM app.

GTalk or Google+. Both are really great and I hope they are soon merged into one. Anyone who doesn't have access to either requires SMS.

However, the GTalk client on the BlackBerry, at least the last few BlackBerry devices I have used, was VERY unreliable so I couldn't use it.

SMS and hopefully ever and more Cnectd Mobile Messenger (unknown, unloved?), but friends have Whatsapp so it's difficult to share any other cross-platform messaging application.

I use plain ol SMS for my Android and iphone friends.. They don't deserve such great messaging... They should get a BlackBerry if they want to use BBM. And in my opinion, BBM is the best messaging app! These third party messaging apps aren't legit...They are only copying and are trying to be like BBM! Which is the only real integrated messaging you can trust.

CrunchSMS works great for my non bb contacts. On one hand i wish Rim would/could release BBM to other platforms as it is hands down the gold standard for quick communications. On the other hand, its one of the benefits of a bb, so they cant give that up, as other platforms will just grab it and run. That may come back and hurt RIM sales. When BB10 is out, and the RIM naysayers get lost in hopefully positive reviews, it may be possible to have a world texting on BBM.

Recently dropped KIK for Touch. Both were good but KIK does not install properly since its not an "official" BB app.
The main benefit for me is I can also chat with my daughters who both have iPod Touches (and wifi).

I use Live Profile since it is pretty similar to BBM, and I can have the Android app on my PlayBook as well.

MMS included in my ATT unlimited data plan. I've been using them for over 10 years so I'm on the old plan they offered. I'm the only person I know who uses a bb. I guess I didn't realize that there were other text options that are free for those without unlimited plans.

I used to use Google Talk until it stopped working. At some point (about 3 months ago), Google Talk started randomly going offline. An upgrade soon came a long but the 'upgrade' was *worse*!!! The upgrade would STILL randomly go offline, but NOW it wouldn't tell you!! It would still show you as being online. So after 4 years of using google talk as my main chat app (I've never had many friends who owned bbs so I never had the opportunity to ever use bbm), I finally gave up on google talk.

I have now switched to Kik, but it doesn't have a desktop client which is annoying. But I do like seeing when a message is delivered and read. And the user interface is way nicer than google talk. But google talk was used by more friends.

I really wish RIM would fix google talk :(

I was looking at the Apple App Store a while back and I noticed that the best seling app was WhatsApp. This puzzled me, because I did not remember paying for it when I downloaded it to my BB. I checked over at Android and it's free there too.
I guess that Apple will continue to make massive profits for as long as their fans are prepared to pay for things that are free elsewhere.

I use Trillian to pull in all my IM accounts, including Facebook. Really hate that the user can't change the font size!

I wish RIM hadn't bought the rights to Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live Messenger and GTalk - their house-made versions just don't work. Dropped messages in all three. I agree they are getting worse, too.