RIM’s Blackberry Messenger, BBM for short, has been lauded as the gold standard for text messaging. It’s one of the features that kept Blackberry in the competitive smartphone circle, while so many others have fallen by the wayside as Android and Apple battle it out.
BBM is similar to other default text messaging programs, but it comes with a few enhanced features. Users receive their texts, photos and videos almost instantaneously, while senders can see when their texts arrived and when they were read. These texts can be sent to anyone, regardless of carrier.
Now, RIM is reportedly thinking about opening BBM up to its very competition, Apple and Android. While ElderGadget rarely reports on rumors, it seems more likely than not that this chatter is true. If we (and the rest of the tech blogging world) are correct, BBM could easily take over other text messaging programs.
Android and iPhone users would purportedly have to pay for the BBM app, though it’s not known how much it may cost or when it would be available. The only question now is whether a BBM expansion would help or hurt Blackberry sales.
Many Blackberry users cite BBM as one of the primary reasons why they like their smartphones. If those same users could suddenly own an iPhone or Android, however, what is the likelihood they’ll remain loyal to Blackberry?
We’re not sure, but we think this is good news for seniors. Most Blackberry models have small keys that are difficult to see and push if you’re suffering from poor eyesight or hand-eye coordination problems. Many are also fairly wide, making them difficult and unnatural to hold. Then, there’s also the issue of the trackball, which is small and sensitive.
While we’re fans of Blackberry in general, these phones can present some notable limitations to seniors who suffer from common age-related ailments. It would be great, however, if these seniors could utilize BBM on a smartphone of their choice.