Apple’s newly released iOS 5 software for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPad includes their new iMessage messaging feature. This new feature allows users to communicate for free over their device’s data connection. iMessage allows users to freely send messages, texts, images, videos, a location and contact information: much similar to BlackBerry’s Messenger service (BBM).
Unlike BBM, iMessage is integrated to the normal messaging service. Although Apple use different colours for normal messages (green) and messages sent/received over iMessage (blue), it can still get confusing. Any devices running iOS 5 with iMessage enabled will automatically associate phone numbers with it.
Problems can arise while sending out an iMessage to multiple recipients. The sender must make sure all their recipients have the application enabled or they could be charged the usual text messaging charges. You see this is where BBM wins over iMessage or anything similar. BBM is a full on IM service, while iMessage tries to send the communication over data connection IF possible or resorts to the normal text messaging.
The sender is notified when then message is sent and also knows when the recipient is typing a reply, again much similar to BBMs features of a ‘delivered’, ‘read’ and ‘typing’ notification. Some of the features are not too different from BBM and it can be said, iMessage was implemented to compete with the BlackBerry, who have been winning over the iPhone with their biggest unique selling point being BBM!
Am sorry Apple, iMessage is nothing compared to BlackBerry Messenger.
BlackBerry wins this one easily.
Updated score: BlackBerry 4 – iPhone 2.
For those of you not used to ‘text speech’ the above two acronyms stand for BlackBerry Messenger For The Win.
Just like Mark Zuckerberg’s idea of exclusivity regarding Facebook, BBM is all about exclusive. This great Instant Messenger services is only compatible with BlackBeryy to BlackBerry requiring what’s called a BlackBerry pin which is a device pin unique to each handset.
So why do I like bbm?
Just to put it ‘simply’, what I like about BBM:
- Push notifications – BBM integrates with BlackBerry messages and provides push messaging service thus making it easier to read and send messages
- Message delivery and read report – Each message sent sees the clock symbol change to a tick. This is then followed by a tick with a ‘D’ next to it standing for delivered, which changed to a tick with a ‘R’ when the message has been read. Thus the sender is aware if the message has been read. And thus if your friend is not replying to you, its not because they didnt get the message (excuse usually works with text messaging), its because they dont like you. Live with it.
Is this message delivery and read report really a good thing? You can decide that for yourself, in another post, I will explain how to bypass the status change. Thus how to read the message without the sender knowing that you have read them yet. Thus ensuring that you dont have to reply instantly. This should be coming very soon, probably in the next post actually, but if i forget, bother me on twitter @MSingh_5
- Exclusivity – BBM is exclusive to BlackBerry only. You can only send BBM messages from a network registered device to another network registered device. End off.
- Doesn’t suck power – From what I’ve experienced, BBM doesn’t actually use much battery, but you wouldn’t really be able to tell the difference, as you cannot ‘close’ the BBM application as such, its always running in the background.
- Simplicity – Not that I’m a technophobe or anything . . .like any other Instant Messaging (IM) service that took off and was succesful, BBM is simple. Its simple to use, simple to update your profile picture (any camera picture or otherwise), simple to edit display name, simple to change/update personal message and simple to change status.
- Recent Updates – Any changes, status updates from your contacts can be viewed in a menu called ‘recent updates’. This feature is similar to many other IMs and is pretty much self explanatory so not going to bother explaining!
- Send/Receive files – Like any other good IM service, you can send an receive digital files. (There is a size limit though)
- PING!!! – another great and exclusive feature is the PING!!! (although similar to the ‘nudge’ on MSN messenger, not actually sure which came first, but I’m guessing it was MSN)
- Broadcast – annoying or a great tool? A Broadcast message is a message to one or many of the contacts (can be sent to all contacts), this message shows up in purple to the receivers, and is just what it says it is: a broadcast message.
- Security – all BBM messages are encrypted and are routed through the BlackBerry servers.
- International – yes you can send BBM messages to anybody in the whole wide world with a BlackBerry device with a registered pin.
- WiFi/3G/GPRS – Yes BBM will work over any signal!
- BB PIN – you dont need to give out or share your phone number. All communication is made with the BBPin. So no dodgy ex’s stalking you. You can block pins from contacting you and in the worst of cases, just get a new handset. New handset, new pin, same number.
- Free – BBM is a free service (as long as you’re paying your service provider a connection charge to the BlackBerry servers). You are not charged to send messages, neither are you have a limit on how many messages you can send, unlike limits and costs related text messages.
What i don’t like about BBM? (Yes, this list exists):
- Broadcasts – Yes broadcasts can be annoying. You get stupid broadcasts like ‘chats?’ where people are begging for attention and need to converse with somebody as they are pathetic and have nothing better to do. Or other stupid broadcasts.
- PING!!! – They vibrate! Yes you can turn this off, but they vibrate! I would like to be able to toggle the vibration on or off for different contacts.
- Switch Off – Yes you cannot turn BBM ‘off’. You can disable notifications, but you can’t go offline. Although that’s not necessarily a bad thing you see, as BBM is there to be left on, at all times, under all costs!
- Emoticons – simply put: BBM needs more and animated emoticons.
- Integrated apps – recently there have been a few apps which let you communicate play games with your BBM contacts, but nothing major. If BlackBerry wanted, they could turn BBM into a huge social network, and they will provide Facebook with a good competition!
So iPhone has nothing on BBM! Yes I said it!
There are many IM apps for the iPhone, but they are just like any other IM so nothing too special! Cross platform, support many services but nothing special. There is nothing that compares to BBM!
WhatsApp has been a very successful cross platform IM service, but you have to share your phone number. Now you don’t want people knowing your phone number, you just want them for IM!
Another application to enter the market was LiveProfile (LP). This is similar to BBM in ways such as a LP Pin, and is a simple IM service. But it’s just not stable enough and is VERY VERY slow! It took off well, but people quickly lost interest as it was too slow, unresponsive and buggy. I dont know what happened with them, but I uninstalled it after a couple of days of use.
iPhone has an exclusive app, facetime. Video calling service for Apple to Apple. Only works over WiFi though. Sucks. It’s just a worse version of Skype I guess but for Apple devices only.
But for sure BBM wins here. BBM was the second biggest factor in me wanting a blackberry . . .the first being I WANTED A BLACKBERRY!
and for being totally awesome! BBM wins =)
and thus BlackBerry wins this one. Updated score: BlackBerry 3 – iPhone 2
Update: iPhone 4S with the recent iOS 5 update has now introduced the iMessage app (competition for BBM).
Got a brodcast message today, known as a bc in the BBM lingo. Anyway, most these broadcasts are friggen annoying, with people asking for ‘chats?’ when they have no friends and nothing better to do with their life than beg to have a conversation; or others broadcasting a random number/code that might somehow upgrade your BBM messenger and give you crazy new features and showing how ignorant and stupid people can be; while other claiming that BBM is going down and you must broadcast the message on or all your contacts will be deleted and you will be taken offline even though you pay for a service. But how much ever you tell people they’re stupid and ignorant, they carry on being stupid and ignorant well because they are stupid and ignorant. . .
Anyway, I got a pretty funny broadcast recently. Whoever wrote this, is a friggen legend, not because they’re using a BlackBerry service to put down BlackBerry Messenger (Hypocrisy much?), but because it is actually a pretty funny piece of ‘poetry’. (Interested in poetry? Even if you’re not, click here for your chance to win a BlackBerry)
The BlackBerry poem
BlackBerry BlackBerry, why do u go down..
Every month I feed you about 10 pound.
Your signal comes and goes when it feels..
Keep seeing 'SOS', what's the deal?
See the little red clock, when my messages don't send..
So I keep pinging and pinging, again and again.
Got people bc'ing a stupid code..
And your bloody browser, takes the piss to load.
"Ping if u get this" is the only way..
As I can't update my status today.
Take my battery out, and put it back in..
Done it so many times, I give up u win.
Blackberry BlackBerry, your true colours have shown..
You've pushed me one step closer, to getting an iPhone =D
Have to say, iPhones win this one.
Updated score: BlackBerry 2 – iPhone 2
BlackBerry offers ‘compensation’ for the outage.
After the recent BlackBerry services outage, BlackBerry has decided to offer its users compensation by offering free apps on the app store. Apart from the handset itself, the only direct and active connection BlackBerry has with its customers is its AppWorld store. Apps such as the Sims 3, iSpeech translator, Texas Hold’em Poker 2, etc will be offered for free till the end of the year.
The apps on offer are worth over a $100 (according to some sources), so thats a $100 of free stuff for all its customers affected by the outage or not. They are also offering their enterprise customers with free technical support for a month. This is a great comeback from BlackBerry and a good way to compensate, I mean think about it, giving out cash would be too much hassle, time consuming and too confusing. BlackBerry don’t directly charge users for their service (the BIS connection charge is paid to mobile networks by customers). So overall, this is a good move by BlackBerry.
But BlackBerry seriously need to look into improving their service. There have been many outages (minor ones), slow connections, slow BBM service, etc. It has come forward that BlackBerry are pushing research and development into cloud computing, but they need to think about creating better devices first. What’s the point of providing a great cloud service, when the devices people use to connect to your service are not produced by you? Wouldn’t it be better to have great devices which then connect to your cloud.
One step at a time dear BlackBerry, one step.
Anyway, updated score: BlackBerry 2 – Apple 1
“After days laughing at BlackBerry misery, tables are turned on iPhone users”
BlackBerry has just been recovering from an international service outage which lasted 3 days. The fans were disappointed with many wanting to migrate to the rival iPhone. But all is not lost. Faith is restored in BlackBerry as the iPhone goes into a meltdown with users experiencing problems with the new iOS 5 upgrade.
iPhone handsets experienced problems with the upgrade with people complaining about having lost contacts, calender events, thousands of purchased music tracks, apps, photos and also rendering some handsets unusable or ‘bricked’.
So there we go iPhone fans, BlackBerry has now caught up on the score.
Updated score: BlackBerry 1 – Apple 1