BBM or Google+ Hangouts; are you excited by either? [Poll]

The big talk of the week has definitely been cross-platform messaging. First up at BlackBerry Live, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins dropped the huge news that their signature messaging platform, BBM, would be going cross-platform this summer and coming to iOS as well as Android. Then, literally 24 hours later Google stepped up and introduced their cross-platform offering, Google+ Hangouts, released the same day on iOS. What we want to know is; are you excited by either of these products?

For many, BBM needs little introduction. Before the iPhone, many of you, like me, used a BlackBerry and BBM with it. Some like it for its security, others for the little 'D' and 'R' notifications that let you know for sure what happened with your message. There's a lot to like about BBM, and as it has evolved with the latest version on BlackBerry 10 it now incorporates voice chat, as well as screen sharing and an excellent, and free, video calling experience. While iOS will not see these video calling features at launch, BlackBerry has said they will be bringing it in future updates.

Google+ Hangouts seems to be an amalgamation of the existing Hangouts experience, merged together with Google Talk. Indeed, on Android, Hangouts has now replaced the stock Google Talk application, and on iOS we're treated to very much the same experience as our Android counterparts. Unlike BBM, Hangouts is already with us, and incorporates free, group video calling at launch.

Both are arriving on iOS after the likes of other third-party clients such as Kik or WhatsApp, not to mention that iOS has its own messaging service, iMessage. OK, so iMessage is somewhat more limited than the others in that it requires an iOS device or a Mac to operate, but iMessage is seamlessly integrated into the stock messaging app. So, when sending a message on your iPhone to one of your contacts, you don't have to worry if they have access to iMessage or not; they just get an SMS message if they don't.

So, are you excited by either of these two newly announced products, or is it too little, too late? Are you and your friends and family already invested in a third-party messaging client? Or is iMessage all you need, or even SMS? Cast your vote in the poll above, and be sure to drop into the comments and share your thoughts with us.

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Reader comments

BBM or Google+ Hangouts; are you excited by either? [Poll]

15 Comments

In third-world countries like South Africa BlackBerry is very popular and having BBM is essential to keeping in touch. For the past 3 years I've carried an iPhone (because BlackBerry's are such pathetic phones) and a BlackBerry just to chat to my friends. With the introduction of BBM on iPhone, I can finally ditch my BlackBerry and go back to carrying just a single phone. Life will be so much simpler and easier. Can't wait for it to release!

This. I've had to resort to WhatsApp to chat with about 90% of my friends because they have blackberries.
Not particularly fond of the WhatsApp UI.

I want more people to use G+. Hoping the new Hangouts will be a place of entry for users. The website, video chat etc. are SO pretty!

For a messaging app to get me to try it I need access to it on all my devices. WhatsApp works fine if you only care about your phone but it fails to pass the tablet/desktop test.

Personally, when I get home my phone gets plugged in and I use my ipad for just about everything with the occasional trip to the basement to mess around on my iMac. For now I'm test driving Hangouts. It's not perfect, but once the kinks get worked out I can see that as being my go to messaging app. Until then ill stick with WhatsApp and just get my messages the following morning.

Where my vote option? I could care less really, it's nice to see them coming to iOS but I don't really use messengers except for Facebook messenger

If iMessage used more bbm like features mainly the ability to add text people without giving out your phone number status messages picture updates etc it would be beyond successful. Also allow some kind of windows desktop app it would be more popular and I'd have no need to try anything else.
Now let me correct myself and say that the ability to text people without using a phone number is there but people for some reason don't utilize it. Unless talking to someone overseas. If it were more commonly used people would be more drawn to it. And the other things I mentioned to.

I use FB Messenger because everyone I know has it. I wish FB had a better desktop client for Windows though. Their current client is buggy as crap and lacks inline spell check and I suck at spelling. ;)

I am very impressed with Google's implementation of the Chrome Hangouts plugin though. Facebook should follow their lead and create a Chrome plugin.

Also, why on earth hasn't Apple released an iMessage client for Windows? Do they really think people are going to buy a Mac just for iMessage? Sad they use such silly tactics.

Google removing XMPP support from Hangouts basically breaks all IM for me. Thanks, jerks.

I'll be using iMessages as well as BBM for the most part. Loved BBM when I was using BB OS 7 and can't wait to use it on my iPhone!

Google Hangouts... hmm, not sure about that yet. I deleted my Google+ profile soon after I created it as it just wasn't for me. Maybe i'll try it again..

Blackberry messenger would have killed like 2 years ago, they Waited too long, now no one cares about either or of them.

My carrier gives me unlimited domestic (Australia) sms so between that and iMessages I'm set. I do have Whatsapp, FB Messenger and Viber installed for those who want to contact me using them, but honestly, no one ever does and I doubt I'd miss them. For my one regular overseas contact we already use Skype. I just closed my unused G+ account so guess I don't care for Hangouts. Crowded market!

Definitely BBM. Third party app with so much support (cross platforms and desktop) I see at my place is line, but that app uses too much crap like stickers and games (waste of bandwidth and stupid invites of games). Whilst whatsapp is pretty good, managing separated favorites and all contacts isn't that efficient. I'd like to see what bbm will do on other platforms.