For BlackBerry Messenger die-hards eagerly anticipating the app's launch on iOS and Android, the weekend brought good news and bad news. But mainly bad.
First, the good news: Leaked versions of the apps have already made their way online, so a little sleuthing should allow you to nab and install the apps on your particular devices.
And now, the bad news: BlackBerry has officially disabled the Android version of the app for the time being, and has delayed the official release of both apps — in case you'd rather have them straight from the source — for an unspecified amount of time. That's thanks to the very leak of which we spoke, which seems to have caused some unexpected problems for the BlackBerry Messenger team.
The delays come just days after the beleaguered company announced it was culling around 4,000 members of staff. Ex-CEO Mike Lazaridis has since been linked with a bid for his old firm.
"The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day," reads a blog post on BlackBerry's website.
BlackBerry goes on to suggest that interested Android users should sign up at bbm.com if they want to receive updates as to the availability of the Android version of BlackBerry Messenger. As to when that might actually be, BlackBerry is a little quiet. The company indicates that it will ultimately launch both the iOS and Android apps via a staggered, worldwide rollout, but it hasn't given any possible timeline, save for saying that it hopes to get to apps out "as soon as we are able."
Of course, it didn't help the situation at all that Google Play has seen a bombardment of fake "BBM" apps as of late. Clearly, spammers — or worse — have been attempting to use the app launch as a means for convincing people to download fake apps. In a number of cases, they aren't even bothering to write convincing text within the app's description. As Android Central reported yesterday, here's one example of what spammers might write about their fake apps:
"minion rush plants vs zombies Grand Theft Auto Vice City Marvel Avengers Alliance Minecraft Free and Full Papa Pear Saga Angry Birds Seasons Angry Birds Rio Fruit Ninja Free Angry Birds YouTube Adobe Flash Player 11 Gmail Street"
In other words, it's a rather unsophisticated attempt to keyword stuff one's way to popularity. Google appears to have cleaned up its app store and kicked out most of the spammy apps, but a quick search for "BBM" highlights a few that are still attempting to cling on for life. Spoiler: It's unlikely that the company "BBM for Android FREE" will be the one officially launching BlackBerry Messenger versus, say, BlackBerry itself.
"Google Play is like the Wild West and yesterday millions of users waiting for BBM on Android seemed to have paid the price for Google's poor standards for Google Play, where I can pretend to be any company and upload useless apps with exactly the same name and users can be conned and will download the fake app till the real company in question asks Google to take the fake app down," wrote Firstpost's Ivor Soans.