BlackBerry users need not be shunned any longer. BlackBerry announced Tuesday that its coveted BlackBerry messaging system -- better know to once and current BlackBerry obsessives as BBM -- will be coming to iOS and Android this summer. BBM was the original free messaging service between BlackBerry users -- an iMessage in the days before the iPhone.
Now because fewer and fewer people have BlackBerrys, that free messaging is going to waste. BlackBerry users can't receive iMessages, and Android and iOS phones can't receive BBMs, forcing people to text message between different devices, using up their texting plans.
“For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service," said Andrew Bocking, an executive vice president at BlackBerry. He wants to "offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community.”
It's not official yet, though. This arrangement has not been approved by Google and Apple yet. According to BlackBerry, if the makers of the two leading smartphone operating systems are game, a free BBM app will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play this summer.