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.
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