BlackBerry announced that the BBM app would make its way to Windows phone devices as far back as February of this year, but this announcement was followed by months of nothing. As of today, however, the waiting period is over. Windows Phone users who love BlackBerry’s Messenger app can now get their hands on the BBM app on their Windows Phone.
The BBM for Windows Phone brings a few important factors to the text messaging experience, such as “chats,” “feeds,” and “contacts.” BBM’s “chats” page allows you to start individual or group messaging; “feeds” lets you stay up to date with what’s going on with your contacts, and “contacts” allows you to maintain information about your contacts or add new ones as you meet new people and make new friends.
The new “pin” feature allows you to “pin” an interesting IM conversation you’re having to your main screen. You can press the “pin” symbol at the bottom of the chat page, and go to your home screen to find that the chat you just pinned to the start screen is now a Live Tile – that can also be moved around like other Live Tiles on the start screen. This allows you to maintain easy access to a chat that you’re involved with often, and keep up with a friend that’s truly close to you without having to make your way through an app or two to find where you left off in the conversation.
While BlackBerry says that this feature is something unique to Windows Phone users that can’t be done on any other platform, the “pin” feature is unique in how it works – but the concept is the same. It’s true that Android and iOS users can’t “pin” a conversation in a text message to their home page for example, but Android widgets allow you to access your favorite contacts and conversations with just the tap of an icon.
And, let’s not forget Facebook’s Facebook Messenger app that provides floating chat heads that let you quickly access the most recent conversation(s) without entering into the Facebook Messenger app. While neither Android nor iOS allow you to pin a chat to your desktop (nor is the chat represented as a Live Tile), the concept is the same (it just utilizes some aesthetic differences of Windows Phone to bring something unique to Windows Phone users). At the end of the day, it is both similar and different to Android’s text and contact widgets.
While BlackBerry’s trying to consolidate its BBM for Windows Phone experience, Facebook’s decided to go the other route – to separate its core Facebook app from its Messenger service. The company just announced this week that it’ll soon place all text messages within Facebook Messenger so that your message reception and response time can improve, but it seems as though Facebook wants to 1) either provide what it believes to be an easier user experience or 2) increase the number of individuals that use Facebook Messenger.
If you’re a Windows Phone user, head on over to the Windows Phone store and get your hands on BlackBerry’s latest Messenger app. Then, come on back here and let us know what you like and what you don’t about the new messenger app. Will BBM for Windows Phone become your text app of choice – or do you have your heart set on another text messaging app already? If you’ve got another you love best, let us know which one.