my switching phone dilemma – or why Blackberry Messenger rocks

I am having a phone dilemma these days.  For the past 2 years I’ve been carrying around an iPhone and a Blackberry in what I like to refer to as my “sandwich”.  The iPhone only gets used as a music player and browsing device.  The Blackberry is used for calls, email and, most importantly, Blackberry Messenger.

So what is the dilemma?

I want to use just one phone!  But I can’t give up my Blackberry because of one reason.

I have realised that the killer app of Blackberry is no longer push email or contact sync.  I can get either of these things on my iPhone.

The killer app of Blackberry is actually Messenger – or BBM as it is referred to by the people in the know.


As with most gadget geek things I would like to think of myself as a very early adopter of BBM.  I actually turned a lot of people I know onto it and since then it has just spread in popularity.  I currently have 31 contacts on it.  I use it every day.  I don’t really even send SMS messages to people anymore.  If you don’t have BBM you might as well be dead to me when I am mobile.

So what is so killer about it?

1) Delivery reports – I love the fact that I can see when someone has read my messages.  This might be kind of a privacy nightmare for some people, but there are ways around showing that you’ve read messages to the sender.

2) Free – No paying per SMS.

3) Realtime – I’m a big chatter and this is no exception.

4) Ability to share content – MMS never worked, let’s face it.  BBM lets you easily share photos and contacts with your contacts.  Love that feature!

5) Groups – I love the latest version of BBM (5.0) that allows you to create groups that let you share calendars, pictures, chat and even to do lists.  Great for co-worker collaboration or friends to share photos in an album and comment on them.

I really wish that RIM would introduce some interoperability between BBM and iPhone / Android, but if they are smart they might hold onto their one app that sets them apart and that people really love.  It is rumoured that teens are now switching to Blackberries from Sidekick mainly for this app.  I don’t blame them.

One really crappy thing is trying to update your BBM to the latest and greatest version.  There is no automagic update.  You have to manually go to the site and download it.  Ugh.  Painful.

Once you have upgraded, you can use the nifty barcode scanner to add me.  Go ahead and give it a try from the web!