BBM makeover will rid Android and iOS of the ugly BB10 interface


BlackBerry finally gave in and brought its famous BBM messaging service to Android and iOS last year, but it wanted to remind us that it still had a smartphone platform of its own by giving its apps a nasty BlackBerry 10 style user interface. Upcoming BBM updates will change that, however, with a new makeover that brings a more native user experience.

The BlackBerry 10 platform itself isn’t actually all that terrible. In fact, I’ve written a number of pieces praising many aspects of it — one of which listed some BB10 features that I thought Google should bring to Android. But when it comes to visual design, it falls a little short in comparison with Android and iOS.

As a result, BlackBerry’s decision to give BBM a BB10 look on these platforms has never been a particularly popular decision. But fortunately for us, the company recognizes that and it’s going to make some changes.

Speaking at the BlackBerry Security Summit this week, company president John Sims admitted that previous managers believed the BBM experience would be better if it looked the same on every platform. “Our view of that is that’s not the case,” he added — and so BBM is getting a makeover.

Sims said that BBM “needs to be more of a native app experience” on third-party platforms, and so we “can expect to see that manifest itself in our Android and iPhone BBM apps.”

Sims didn’t provide a timeline for the makeover, unfortunately, so we’ll have to wait to hear more from BlackBerry — but it should be worth the wait. The BB10 interface in BBM has never looked right on Android and iOS, so this will surely be good news for those who continue to use BBM on third-party platforms.