Emerging Technology

Blackberry restarts its Messenger rollout for iOS and Android

Andrew Sadauskas /

Troubled Canadian smartphone giant BlackBerry has announced it is restarting its BlackBerry Messenger rollout for Apple iOS and Android devices, after its original rollout was frozen in late-September.

After weeks of delay, the company is promising the BBM app will be available to download for free through the Google Play, iTunes and Samsung app stores.

Users who signed up for updates on the BBM.com website will be able to use the new app immediately.

The company is also implementing a queue system for users who didn’t apply, with users reserving a “spot in line” after downloading the app, with users emailed when they are able to connect to the service.

“Our team of developers and engineers has been working around the clock to bring you BBM – and make some upgrades while we’re at it – and some incredible work has been done. I look forward to sharing more of this with you,” BBM executive vice president, Andrew Bocking, states.

In mid-September, following years of speculation, BlackBerry announced they were going to release BBM for iOS and Android.

The original rollout was scheduled for Android on Saturday September 21st, with the iOS version rolling out on September 22nd.

However, after beginning the launch of the iPhone version in selected companies on Saturday, the company abruptly stopped the rollout with little initial explanation.

Bocking later announced the rollout would be paused, blaming the delays on an unofficial version of the app leaking through file sharing sites.

“Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites … This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways,” Bocking said.

“We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone.”

 

The launch came less than a day after the company reported nearly $US1 billion in quarterly losses, weak handset sales and cuts to 40% of its global workforce.

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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