BlackBerry trumpeted its intention to deliver the long-awaited Android and iOS versions of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service this weekend, and so fans around the world eagerly awaited the mobile software’s debut. But debut the apps didn’t, at least not as intended and not for the vast majority of expectant fans.
As of right now, BlackBerry’s BBM apps for iOS and Android are nowhere to be seen, after the iOS version’s staged rollout of midnight local time at each country around the world got put on hold somewhere around India, and the Android version was a no-show altogether. The Android BBM app was originally slated for a Saturday launch, but the iOS version beat it out of the gate, and both got “paused” after a leaked version of the official Android .apk decimated BlackBerry’s servers.
Late yesterday BlackBerry was forced to put its rollout on hold, which it says is due to overwhelming demand.
“Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online,” reads a statement from its official blog. “The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first eight hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible.”
After that original post, those waiting for the official apps had nothing to go on for roughly 15 hours, followed by the most recent official word on the situation via BBM’s verified Twitter account. The most recent news is no news, however, with simply a restatement of its message from earlier that the company is working hard to restore the rollout.
I’ve been eager to get on board with either the Android or the iPhone version, because it means I can finally talk to my father again after so many years of silence. I’ll be able to BBM him for the two months it’ll take for his new iPhone to ship to him, and then I can safely delete the app again.
I asked my sister’s boyfriend, who just got an iPhone 5s, whether he’s excited about being able to take his BBM network with him as he switches. Here’s what he had to say:
I only have 3 people on BBM now. 2 are [your sister, work and personal ] and the other is your dad. I used to have 30 BBM contacts.
The launch of BBM for iPhone and Android, should it ever actually happen, will be a nice escape raft for people still clinging to the sinking ship, but that’s about it. The other ship BlackBerry is conceivably aiming to float here, the one where it builds a competitive cross-platform messaging platform to rival WhatsApp and others, has already sailed long, long ago.