BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) for iOS has begun rolling out across the globe, and while it will only hit the U.S. at midnight, as usual New Zealand got it first. Our own Richard Devine, whose had more than his fair share of BlackBerry devices, switched stores, loaded it up, and went hands on, and he's got his first impressions in the video above.
On the plus side, BBM literally wrote the book on mobile communications and they still do it better than anyone.
On the maybe pro/maybe con side, they've stuck with a very BlackBerry look and feel, which should make it immediately familiar to anyone who's known and loved in the past, but could be a bit of a barrier to people more familiar with iOS interface paradigms. Granted most mobile chat interfaces still suck, and iOS 7 has re-written a lot of Apple's own guidelines, so it's not as big an issue as it might otherwise be.
On the negative side, it looks like BBM for iOS didn't get setup to support iOS 7 interface elements, so you're getting things like the old, iOS 6 style keyboard. That should be easily fixed in an update. Expedited, hopefully.
It's also iPhone interface only right now, which means it'll only run letterboxed on iPad, but that's not a huge problem because it seems like BlackBerry ID is still limited to only one device. That probably won't affect most people, but will remain a pain point for geeks who want to switch devices and just have their stuff everywhere.
We'll be back with more coverage later, but for now, if BBM for iOS has already hit your local App Store, here's where to get it, and some helpful links to get you started: