After reports this week indicated that BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is about to announce that its device will begin to support applications made for Google’s Android platform, other reports have emerged that it’s getting ready to release a version of BlackBerry Messenger for Google’s Android software, and is also contemplating porting the app to Apple’s iOS. Representatives from RIM are said to have declined to comment, but the move makes a certain amount of sense to the company and application developers.
Although BlackBerry is still huge, when it comes to smart phone share measured by hardware vendors Apple is slightly ahead with Symbian and Android phones far much ahead. Plenty of people can remember that this is a market Blackberry once controlled and owned with ease but now fortunes have changed, and it’s fair to say that there has been a lack of enthusiasm and excitement around BlackBerry for quite some time as both Apple and Android rose to prominence among consumers and developers across the globe. BlackBerry Messenger is an application that lets BlackBerry subscribers trade instant messages, photos, and other updates with one another, and at the moment it’s only available to BlackBerry owners. RIM should selectively bringing the most compelling parts of the BlackBerry experience to other phones will be an interesting way of creating a spark without having to make a huge investment.
But the company announcement that it will be opening up BlackBerry Messenger to other phones could allow RIM to get a lot more new people using its services. In my opinion at the moment RIM should try to move past its good-hardware-crappy-software reputation by focusing on its QNX software that will run atop the forthcoming much hyped Blackberry Playbook tablet.
Earlier reports that RIM was working internally on a project to make its Playbook tablet compatible with Google’s 130,000 apps could turn out to be the best news for developers and consumers. This will also help Myriad Company which has been developing Alien Dalvik software that can make Android apps run on other platforms. The future looks promising indeed. BlackBerry has garnered positive reviews for its forthcoming 7″ PlayBook tablet, a lack of available applications could hold it back. No pricing or timing details have been finalized but black berry messenger is a core part of the BlackBerry experience and would be difficult to separate out and it will be interesting to see if it would make it through Apple’s approval process.