After the snafu that Blackberry went through when trying to release Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on Android and iOS a couple of weeks ago, the company corrected the mistake this week and re-released the apps with a little caveat: you have to stand in line and wait for an invite to be able to use the service. Putting aside this little hitch in the process, BBM is alive and doing relatively well on Android.
Whether you have never used the Blackberry platform before or you’ve just recently decided to leave it and move to Android, BBM is a valid communication method you can now use to interact securely with your friends, family and colleagues. Here’s everything you need to know about setting it up and using it on Android.
In my part of the world, SMS messaging fees are exorbitant and unlimited plans are non-existent. That’s why services like WhatsApp have taken off quickly and become the de-facto messaging solution for everyone, from the tech-minded geek to the older 50-something parents, the hip teenager, and the business man and woman.
The one caveat however, is WhatsApp’s mobile-only limitation. For one, I keep interrupting my work on the computer to unlock the phone and respond to messages, and for two, I have to continuously hammer messages on my phone’s touchscreen. When you suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome like I do, there are days when this is just a recipe for insufferable pain.
Enter WhatsRemote, an app that recently came under my radar thanks to Aatif Sumar. It essentially promises to let you continue your WhatsApp conversations from your computer’s browser. Does it work, and what are its caveats? Let’s take a look.
Until a couple of months ago, I had never cared about backing up any of my SMS messages before resetting my phone or flashing a new custom ROM. However, I recently started receiving important work-related messages on my phone and got worried about losing them. I spent a few hours looking for a background solution that would save my messages, let me search them, and that would be easy to set up after every reset. Another requirement was for the app to look a little bit more modern than if it were designed in the Android Froyo days. Unfortunately, such an app didn’t exist at the time and I gave up on the search, opting instead for using mysms with its Evernote backup option — which was very intrusive and less than ideal.
However, a few days ago, my good friend Ricky Cadden suggested SMS Backup+ and although I had dismissed the app before because it looked like it was stuck in the Eclair days, I decided to take another look and lo-and-behold, it was updated to fit right at home on any post-ICS device, and it supported Whatsapp backups as well! I have been using the app ever since and I’m quite satisfied with its performance and reliability.
In this how-to, I will explain how I set up SMS Backup+ to save all my communication to Gmail. It should help you use the app for the first few times until you are familiar with its different configurations.
Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about Google taking a step to unify their different messaging platforms into one. The rumors started solidifying last week, with screenshots and what seems to be a codename / final name: Babel. At the same time, we’ve also heard news that Google might be lining up to buy the popular messaging client Whatsapp, which was later denied by a spokesperson for the company. Then of course we saw the launch of Facebook Home along with its Messenger Chat Heads.
This whole “rush” towards messaging has us wondering about the platforms that you use to communicate with your friends and family. Are you still reliant on SMS? Have you moved towards traditional IM solutions like Google Talk or Facebook Messenger, or are you using the new solutions like Whatsapp, LiveProfile, and others? Or do you rely on a mix of services to connect with different people?
WhatsApp Messenger is a cross platform messaging application available for Android, Blackberry, iPhone and Nokia phones. The app works using the internet connection (3G, WiFi or mobile data plan) of your phone. Android, Blackberry and iPhone users can send and receive pictures, audio notes, and video messages too.