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BlackBerry Messenger App May Be Coming To Apple, Android Devices

The Huffington Post    
First Posted: 03/03/11 02:10 PM ET Updated: 06/01/11 06:01 PM ET

Research In Motion (RIM) plans to develop its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) app for Google's Android platform and perhaps even for Apple's iOS devices, according "multiple trusted sources" who dished to Boy Genius Report.

At the Mobile World Congress last month in Barcelona, BBM was named "App of the Year on the BlackBerry App World Platform." Were RIM to offer its messaging service across multiple platforms, the company could potentially shake up the mobile messaging landscape. Writes Techland, "By extending the BBM service to iPhone and Android handsets, BlackBerry would be able to leverage functionality that it arguably does better than anyone else--quick, simple group messaging--and potentially get users of these other platforms hooked on it."

But don't expect these rumored apps to be as robust as the native version. BGR explains,

As far as what Android and iOS users can look forward to, we've been told RIM will offer stripped down versions of the BBM experience BlackBerry owners know and love. That way, Android and iOS users can communicate with practically anyone who has a smartphone using BBM, but they might not be able to share photos, location, or videos (when RIM crosses that bridge). Users who want the full BlackBerry Messenger experience will still need a BlackBerry smartphone to get it. At the same time, RIM could own the entire messaging app category on every major smartphone OS platform and could potentially draw new users in because it has given them a taste of what BlackBerry Messenger is all about.

BGR's sources said that BlackBerry Messenger for Android "is definitely a go" and hinted at a 2011 launch date. Developing the app for Apple's handsets will be a little trickier, the sources said; thus, details about an iOS version are scanty for now.

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