PSA: You may have trouble messaging friends on Android and iOS if you have BBM Channels beta installed

*UPDATE* - This issue appears to be resolved for most folks now.

You may have trouble messaging those on BBM for Android and iOS if you have BBM Channels beta installed
By DJ Reyes on 21 Sep 2013 06:14 pm EDT

This weekend is big for BBM. It is finally going multi platform. Unless, you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you've probably been reading and hearing all the hubbub surrounding #BBM4ALL. We're still waiting on BBM for Android. Hang in there, it's coming. And BBM for iOS is getting a staggered release, slowly pumping out, depending on what time zone you live in. 

I have been slowly adding contacts from iOS and Android (those who have installed the leak) and while I can receive BBM messages from other platform users, every time I reply, I get a red X. A few people were seeing the same as me, while others had no trouble at all. After more investigating, it seems that if you have the current BBM Channels beta installed on your device, you will not be able to talk to BBM users on Android or iOS. So, if you want to be able to chat to your friends on other platforms you're going to have sacrifice BBM Channels.

If you're going to choose multi platform contacts over BBM Channels, you're best bet is to install the BBM bar file (as long as you know what you're doing). Unless you'd like to security wipe you're device. 

I cannot confirm whether or not this issue is also found with those using BlackBerry OS devices. Sound off in the comments if you are having the same issues on BlackBerry OS.

Download the BBM .BAR file
Download the BBM .BAR file
How to sideload onto BlackBerry 10 using Chrome Plugin
Discuss more in the forums

Reader comments

PSA: You may have trouble messaging friends on Android and iOS if you have BBM Channels beta installed



Yep. I know, but good to post this if others don't.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

Er..if you install a beta then you essentially accept that there may be bugs. That's what beta testing means.

Posted via CB10

Are you guys still justifying this bunch of incompetents? They cant even release on Android, and it's not because of the fake apps, it's due to technical problems.

Hmm works on BlackBerry, works on IOS but doesn't work on android. Now what would occams razor suggest?

Posted via CB10

I sure hope BBM staff is working 24 hrs this weekend, would be great to get a quick update from the Beta Zone to address this very important issue.

Posted via CB10

It is different so it could be either BlackBerry's fault or something else. Occam's razor is not correct all of the time.

Are you seriously suggesting that it's Google's fault that BBM hasn't been released on Android? It's BlackBerry's responsibility to properly build an app and upload the apk to the Play Store. And that's really all they have to do.

What's interesting is that if I go on the Play store right now from my Android, I no longer see any fakes for bbm. In fact, they seemed to all have been pulled since none showed up in the search. This may after all be happening because BlackBerry was in talks with Google about removing the fakes before publishing the official version. It's definitely very plausible and if true, bbm should be up within a reasonable time frame by the end of this weekend, maybe even tonight.

EDIT: Check out @BBM's Tweet:

Well, it is possible that the delay is being caused by the fake apps, but it certainly isn't Google's fault.

Yes, it looks like that's precisely what happened.... Android has no quality control on their apps and BlackBerry wouldn't release until their app store had cleaned up their act. makes perfect sense. Except, of course, to an Android fan boy troll.

Posted via CB10

Unlike BlackBerry World, which has no apps...

Seems like a stupid reason to not release an app only because there are fakes. In case you didn't know, iOS also has fake apps... BB and WP have less only because they aren't popular.

Are you and the other trolls continually going around threads bashing the shot out of this company still?????

If you don't like the freaking company go the hell away.

Posted via CB10

Dave79 you have to be the most negative person I have been seeing in the forums. If you don't like it, bounce dude. #ibelieveinBBRY #BBM4ALL

Zed 10 - In your face VZW

Don't blame me if BBRY successfully fail to deliver every single time. I'm a stockholder I can voice my discontent. If you think BBRY is doing the right things then disregard my comments.

You can be as positive as you want and tell yourself: therek4 no weeds, there's no weeds! But when you'll open your eyes you'll see therek4 plenty of weeds in the garden.

Posted via CB10

The management clearly doesn't care and probably have an interest in keeping the stock price down. I already accounted as a bad investment, lucky it's a small part of my portfolio. I would be an idiot if I were to pump up positively this joke of a corporation.

Posted via CB10

They definitely have a problem executing. Not good. This should have been a happy and positive thing. Very sad.

+1 I think it's important for people to shed light on how this company has disappointed many of its stockholders and loyal stakeholders.

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

It's called a "beta" dude. Channels is not officially released to the public nor "gold". My god people complain endlessly around here about everything.

Nobody expects beta software to fail so thoroughly. I mean please. You can't communicate with other BBM users?

Not sure you got the memo but they failed to deliver on Android and manage to break who's installed the Channels.

Posted via CB10

I can and have communicated with other BB users ever since I've had the Channels Beta (ever since it first came out). Since it is a beta version, though, I'm not surprised if it can't work with x-platform. When the official version comes out, it should be fine. That is not a fail -- as others have pointed out, it is a beta. Meaning test version. :cant-watch:

So despite the fact that the issue seems to be with Google's Android Play Store (Android leak works fine, so does iOS vs) You want to blame BlackBerry.

Sounds good to me...."My fracking car is out of gas! I blame BlackBerry. They are a bunch of fang-bangers!!!"


Posted via CB10

Android leak doesn't work that fine. If it was a Google Play store why BBRY didn't go ahead and post the app on

The iOS app and the Android app are different. They managed to deliver on iOS but failed on Android.

Also they failed with BB10 with channels.

Hence it's a failure but you fanboys keep your optimism it's inspiring.

Posted via CB10

Would you like the link to the apk?
It only takes 2 minutes to find it posted around CB. Why would BBRY post the apk on their website? Android users will be going to the Play Store to get the app. 90% wouldn't know how to grab & install an app that's not in the store.

Posted via CB10

Did you read the official BBRY statement? They said they failed and stop the roll out for both android and iPhone. So the issue isn't just with channels.

Guys wake up, BlackBerry succeed to fail the delivery once again!

Posted via CB10

Your comments are not fair. BBM channels are beta, so it's expected to have some issues.

What's happening with the Android environment it's not clear yet.

As far as I remember companies have issues with releases, there are plenty of examples, such as iOS with the maps app, or Microsoft with the immense windows issues.

Yes BlackBerry has let people down before but to be fair lately they seem to putting some work, after all Z30, OS10.2 and BBM4all must account for something.

By the way I'm not a fanboy of any sort.

Posted via CB10

Can you explain to me how Google caused this? All you're doing is saying "ermahgerd, ima hater, its android fault for no reason whatsoever". Putting out an app on Android is in the hands of the developer. Google in no way interferes with app releases.

"Hang in there. It's coming." says article.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

The apple release is doing regional rollouts (only activated in certain areas at a time). You may be getting the x because the people you are trying to send messages to are not in regions that are officially supported yet. Just a guess, I can't be completely sure at this point.

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10!

Yes I had. Opened up an incident report in the BBM Channels Beta Zone and in this forum as well...

Posted via CB10

Beta users as suggested above... it can also happen to commercial versions of BBM. BlackBerry needs to resolve this quickly.

Can't understand why didn't Beta test this in the Beta Zone.

Posted via CB10

They did. Perhaps their test group of employee family and friends was too small. Should have opened it up to a wider audience. Frustrating considering all the hype for the launch.
FAQ on Beta Zone for BBM Channels:
4. Where can I find more information on the Multi-Platform BBM Beta? BlackBerry has begun internal testing of BBM on Android and iOS devices. We invited our employees to nominate friends and family to participate in a limited Android beta. Those slots are now full. For more information, please visit

Just like it's hard to understand why it's still not commercially available through the play store... makes no sense.

Please hurry up BB!

What does the PSA in the title mean? Is that supposed to be PS (postscript)?

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

Dave is that you using a 2nd ID?
Or are you an inbred cousin?
Do you guys have Trolls Anonymous meetings?

Posted via CB10

Really? And it's not a troll to call Android "phony" and "stupid" just because BBM isn't being released on time?

I have not written anything like that, but even if I were to, I wouldn't go to an Android fan site and say it.

Posted via CB10

Curious to know too
Installed the one that came with the os again, but still can't message Droid users

Posted via CB10

There's no easier way to get rid of bbm channels and get the stock bbm back?

Posted from my Q10 on the West Coast

Haha I knew they would figure out a way to mess this up.

Maybe BlackBerry should hire the staff at Whatsapp as a consultant? Hahaahahha

Posted via CB10

So the only way to delete BBM channels is to security wipe the device or install a bar file? WTF??

Posted via CB10

No, you can use the Chrome .bar manager app, or Sachesi to delete BBM and put an older, non-beta version on.

"In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas."

Can't I just download BBM official from BlackBerry World and overwrite the Beta version?

Posted via CB10

If this is true, how do we install the bbm bar file to remove channels beta? I love bbm channels, but i cant what till the end of the year to use it again with full potential when it goes official.

Posted via CB10

My friends are too stupid to get bbm working, we need it in google play and in all iTunes stores asap lol

Posted via CB10

U side load a bar file u got off an converted .apk file the same way u do a BlackBerry bar file.

Posted via CB10 on my Zee10 on 10.2.xXxX

Why can't you just erase BBM from BlackBerry World. Then re- download it?

Posted via my Zzzeeyeaahh Baby

It's part of the OS. It's not even listed on BlackBerry World.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

Hi there. Does any1 know how to delete BBM channels without side loading the bar, or security wiping the handset?? Any help would be Appreciated

Posted via CB10

Try going to BlackBerry World and deleting the bbm app from there after backing up contacts. Then re- download.

Posted via my Zzzeeyeaahh Baby

What a fck up...after all the advertising and bragging about how good it is, their own fcking software with the all signing, all dancing BBM Channels doesn't work...


Probably not. Google has been using extended betas to build hype for years. GMail was in beta forever, to the point where everyone already had it. I think it finally hit release years later.

Basically when Google says "beta" they mean "new software, and you'll want it more if we make it sound like you shouldn't have it yet", and they can pass off any bugs as "it's just a beta release".

When BlackBerry says "beta" they mean "beta", which means unfinished software not ready for public use. Anyone with Channels isn't just using it early, they're helping BlackBerry test it before it hits market.

This is exactly why Channels install used to be such a process: they didn't want entitled users who didn't understand the purpose of beta software complaining that it wasn't fully functional, so they did what they could to make sure the people running it might at least know what beta really means.

Beta != early access. Beta = testing, and some things might not work.

"In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas."

Point taken but they should have tested it with at least the "official" BBM betas that were released to ensure crossplatform BBM worked or alternatively provided a simple downgrade path to an old version of BBM if anything else.

Their BetaZone install app should have been built with some "rollback" functionality or something like that. For such a large company, and such an important release, mistakes like this really shouldn't happen especially given the current perception BlackBerry already has.

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Native Q10 and Z10) -

"Unless you've been living under a rock...". C'mon, let's be honest and objective, 99% of the smart phone owning public really doesn't know anything about BlackBerry or that BBM is going cross platform. Get out of the bubble guys. BlackBerry is the best kept secret in the smart phone world. Sorry, but it's true.

Yeah, but she wrote the article on CrackBerry, to the CrackBerry readers... and anyone who reads CrackBerry would have to be living under a rock to not know that BBM was coming.

If "Unless you've been living under a rock" were part of an article on another site, a non-BlackBerry fan site, then I'd agree with you.

BlackBerry is pretty well-known, as it was pretty popular prior to the release of iOS and Android. Sure, most people don't know about the cross-platform BBM release, but most have heard of BlackBerry itself.

If you use beta software i.e. channels. Then you can not expect 100% function. It is in beta for a reason.

Posted via CB10

There is no excuse for BlackBerry Messenger to not work on a BLACKBERRY. I don't care if BBM Channels is on beta they have teams in the same company working on BBM and have been working on this for months. Why not just push out a beta for channels that allows for multi platform BBM to work with channels. And this is also affecting Bbos devices and people without channels so explain that. This is unacceptable simply put.

Posted via CB10

any person who downloads beta software accepts a certain amount of failure. thats why we sign up to beta programs so we can test things out and report problems.

Exactly! Never mind about BBM channels, they've been hyping the BBM cross platform release, and now it doesn't work properly. There was no warning from BB that BBM for all might not work for all.

Yes Channels is a beta Version, but WHY IS BBM not working?? Why Channels Affect the other function of the phone? For me Channels can have some bugs but Not BBM!!

Posted via Z35

To use Channels beta, you're installing a beta version of the BBM app. That's how it can cause issues

There is no room to fail with this cross platform app! It will be the end of whatever credibility is left for BBRY!

Posted via CB10

I don't have channels for both z10 and 9900.. I'm still getting an "x" everytime I reply. And now it's getting worse.. I cannot accept invite from BBM pin generated via iOS.. what's happening?!?!

Posted via BlackBerry Z10

I saw BBM in the app store, but it is stupid that you need iOS6 to download. I have not upgraded to iOS6, as 5.1.1 was the best OS so far.

Posted via CB10

Massive fuck up from BlackBerry, no wonder they lost a billion dollars. ( won't stop me buying a Z30 though...)

Posted via CB10

Can't wait to get the z30 either. Of people want BBM they should just get a BB10 phone. They would never look back. It simply is the best out there.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

I am starting to think some of the delay is due to BBRY running into glitches. I downloaded the apk and all I could get was a connection error.

Incompetence of epic proportions. Don't tell me that all this time no one with channels beta tested it ? May be there is some other reason.

ChannelX C000D3759 We feature top channels

Are we sure this isn't because people are downloading the New Zealand version and then changing the region back?

Yup! Iphone idiots can't wait till tomorrow for the official release.

BlackBerry will survive in the Corporate and Government Sectors! My Z10 is so much better than an iphone!

Bombardier just performed the maiden flight of their new airliner. See, some Canadian companies can launch a new product and it works first time. BlackBerry doesn't appear to be among those companies. Sigh.

QNX will certainly live on but sadly it's not looking like BlackBerry will. What a shame.

The fact I won't downgrade is good considering I went into channels thinking I might not like it.
I like it, and I can wait for the upgrade in beta that is probably already on its way.

Z10, PlayBook, 9810, 9000.

BBM is available in Android in certain countries. For example I can confirm is available in Dominican Republic since this afternoon. Though since I have Channels I cannot message my friends but they can message me.

Nissan GTR Channel - C001247FA

If it wasn't ready just give the right amount of time to make sure it's ready had some people that spent there entire day looking for BBM to appear and got TOTAL crap in the playStore

It leaked version working all day then now sayin no internet connectiom when i do i think they have alot of bugs sort out epic fail from bbm shame see why people left nout do with bbm channels as i have bbm on os no bbm channels i get red cross so what is the issues no bbm in google epic fail

Dude, if you are going to make the effort to post a comment, at least make it so it is READABLE.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

Hey people
Open your browser and type "beta" into Google. Might give you a clue as to why things are a bit oogly. Or you could just ignore me and whine like six year olds.

Posted via CB10

You don't think that given all the hype around BBM for all, BB should have been working around the clock to fix this particular bug before they released? What do you think the response will be in the media and elsewhere? Do you think that citing "beta" is an acceptable reason?

What an embarrassment really how is it that blackBerry keeps messing up so much. I've wanting to delete bbm channels for awhile and I can't even uninstall it now I have to download a bar file. Ridiculous really.

Posted via CB10

Yah..but how to over come this! What xactly we are supposed to do wid dis jad file! Am a q10 user, neithr am abl to re instal bbm or atlest delt channels! What's the way out! Will b obliged for ur kind gesture

Posted via CB10

It's not working yet because it has not been officially released in North America yet. Bbm is blocking messages till its time here.

Posted via CB10

Cmon BlackBerry.. even the bbm release got screwed up.. can't send bbm messages to IOS users.. can't delete channels.. this is ridiculous

Posted via CB10

To me this is not the big issue it seems to be blowing up into. Beta testing by definition means that bugs and inconveniences will occur. For the record, I've never had any 'real' issues with any of the apps in the Beta Zone up until now. If I have to uninstall my beta version of BBM to make this work that's ok! *shrug*

I'm not convinced this is correct - I think the red 'x' is definetly a general comms server glitch, because I'm getting it trying to message a friend of mine with a BB torch tonight - I am wondering if the wrong conclusions are being drawn here based on a few things happening simultaneously for some people.

I'm not sacrificing my channels. Seeing how some people don't have channels I'm guessing that's not the issue. Maybe it could be fixed with an update. :]Y

Posted via CB10

Come on guys, BlackBerry is in difficult times, their products have served us for years, be supportive, I know it's been hard for us the users that we deserve better but let's be supportive, people in BlackBerry must be in a very difficult spot right now and I'm sure they are trying hard show them support

Posted via CB10

Still testing from my Z10 to iOS users. Thus far I can send a BBM, it DOESN'T show the red X, but, it doesn't show as delivered - D - either. 
Weird, still testing...

Just rolled back to BBM 10.1 without channels, so let's hope no issues msg'ing iOS in 4 hours.

BlackBerry Since 2006. Z10 Rogers, Halifax NS

It's quite frustrating with all the things going wrong for BlackBerry (or the perception that they are) however, I'm quite happy with my Q10 (in general) and the competition really doesn't have much to offer In terms of the BlackBerry Hub. So I guess I'll be sticking with BlackBerry till they stop making devices (if they ever happens).

National Rail Times App for BB10 (Native Q10 and Z10) -

Has nothing to do with Channels. I have downgraded to two lower versions. Only users I can't send to are iOS and Android users.

Please stop with the speculation Crackberry.

BlackBerry in its own interest should have released a press announcement about this already instead of feeding the hate by saying nothing.

Once again terrible PR out of Waterloo.

Posted via CB10

Guys let's get real, shall we.

This was one good chance to market BlackBerry and they screwed it.
BlackBerry cannot afford any failures at this point. It is as simple as that. Beta or no Beta, its got to make it all work.

This coming from BlackBerry fan.

Q10 \m/

Well, the mighty inconvenient to security wipe the device to side step the beta. Sideloading BBM? If that's what it takes to downgrade...

Posted via keyboard bearing Q10

Just tested bridged BBM on my Playbook, which doesn't have channels. Also didn't work.

Long shot, I know.

Though my Android phone can't talk at my Z10 anymore either, so something may just be switched off.

Wonder if anyone's looked into a DDOS attack or something. Knowing The Internet, I could totally see someone doing that on the announces launch date for shots and giggles.

"In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas."

You have upgraded BB Bridge? If so, BBM should work, Channels or no. It does on my Z10 with the BBM Channels beta and PlayBook with latest update. If not working AND it is set up correctly, delete Bridge and reload.

I am facing the problem in chating wid fren on adroid, cuz of beta zone channels! I just unintalled beta zone! Now what m I supposed to do? Still channles are being displayed and facing Sam prob in bbm

Posted via CB10

Funny how all android & iPhone users were saying they weren't going to download the BBM app & now they can't wait to do it. Tried it with other iPhone users on my Z10 and it works great, as I'm sure it will work fine with Android too.

Posted via CB10

Go sell your BlackBerry device and buy an iPhone than you can use BBM lol

Posted via Z35

Hey you might want to point this out before you get more BlackBerry bashing comments, Channels Beta is on different servers from everyone else, when channels is no longer beta this won't be a problem. We all decided to join channels beta so deal with it.

Posted via CB10

How about we all wait till the weekend roll out is complete before jumping off a cliff.
:please don't panic:


I want to stay positive.
I like my Z10 and my Q10.
But this is just disastrous.
Wanted to meet some iphone friends tomorrow to test this out.
Now I'm considering calling in sick.
Embarrassed, sad.

I'm assuming it will be working by tomorrow.

--Q10 and Canadian all the way! Posted via CB10 on #IChooseBlackBerry10

It's funny how all of a sudden all you people who are so called die hard BlackBerry users are all of a sudden, bashers. Not one person in here asked the question how did these fake apps get in Google play store? How secure are they? and who approved these fraud apps?. Get a life and stop wining or suck it up butter cup and be patient. All you are doing is adding fuel to the fire. My Z10 is amazing but other device users will never know because media is also bashing blackberry. The funny thing is all opinions have been based on older devices, not the new ones. All critics GTFOH!

Posted via CB10

The fact that they would put out something, even beta, knowing that it would cause these types of major problems shows complete lack of respect for the consumer.
The fact that they would put out something, even beta, without knowing that it would cause these types of major problems shows a complete lack of competence. Look how close they were to releasing the Android and Apple versions when Channels went beta.
These are not minor bugs.
Either way, this is a big embarrassment for both the company and the Waterloo region and its university.

The average consumer doesn't beta-test apps. You know what you're getting into when you do -- or should anyway. Betas are GOING to have bugs. If you're greedy and tried to grab it early by getting the beta, then tough. The BBM Channels Beta did NOT cause the problem. This article is about not being able to BBM x-platform if you have the Beta. Let's stay on topic, shall we?

I have experienced the red X with BBM, even with current users. Probable and older device that isn't being updated. Not all BBMers but one that I know of. And I do have beta channel in use.

Posted via CB10

WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW THIS BEFORE INSTALLING CHANNELS. What a joke to find this out after the fact. AND, there's no easy way to un install. F$#!

Posted via CB10

Pretty simple actually.
Just side load the file

Check out cb10 for a post on this.

Took me 3 minutes to get the regular bbm without channels

Posted via CB10

I just had to post again after reading TimmyT's post. Come on man...its do you think the kinks get worked out? Give it a rest!

Posted via CB10

Beta does not mean throw it out and let other people find your bugs. Beta mean it has already been tested by the developers. If they haven't tested cross-platform communications, then it should not have been put out so close to the roll out of cross platform services.

Someone please help!!!! I followed this STUPID article advice and went to sideload the bbm variant linked below the article. Everything went well, but after I unplugged my device and hit the bbm icon it wont launch!!! It does this thing like it is going to open the application for a second than it closes. PLEASE HELP

It's not working for me, and all my friends with android had their bbm suddenly stop sending as well (gives red clock)
I think the BlackBerry server is suffering :P

Let's just wait for the official ...

Posted via CB10

I remember they had this bbm stress test for android and some couple of folks have been added? Where are you guys? Did any of you experienced the same problem? Thanks!

Posted via CB10

Anyway, what difference would it make what platform you send to? The app should send the message to one common server and that server should route it on to the specific BBID device. All apps should hook into the same server.
If a person can receive messages from one platform, it should be able to receive it from all platforms. Same with sending messages.

I bet they have us sending our messages through some beta server for this channels test instead of the normal production server.

How the hell is this BlackBerry's fault?...Google Play store is full of so much crap on a regular day because they don't have a good enough filtering process when approving's really that simple

Posted via CB10

No, the PlayBook can only run non-native code up to version 2.3. BBM for Android requires 4.0+

Official statement from Bbm just came out. Fake version for Android causing problems. The rollout has been paused for now

Posted via CB10