The Rules of BBM’s New Private Chat

The latest BBM release introduced some great improvements – Android material design UI changes and tablet support, the ability to edit messages, rearrange the order of sticker packs on BlackBerry 10 and iOS, hide unused sticker packs on Android, update your status from Feeds, and the most interesting, have Private Chats.

Private Chat allows you to chat and share with confidence by removing names and avatars from the chat screen, and self-destructing the chat from both sides if the chat is inactive. Perfect for the kind of discreet conversations you would usually have in-person.

Before you start having Private Chats with your friends, let’s set the ground rules:

iStock_000021391494_Medium1st rule – You do not talk about your Private Chats. You’ve accepted taking part in a Private Chat, which means you have confidential information to exchange with a contact. What’s discussed in the Private Chat must stay in the Private Chat.

2nd rule – You DO NOT talk about your Private Chats. See above.

3rd rule – If someone decides the chat is over, the chat is deleted from both sides. This allows you to chat freely knowing what you say will be deleted from the other person’s device.

4th rule – Only two people in a Private Chat at a time. Names and avatars are removed from Private Chats, so they are limited to two people to prevent confusion who is saying what.

5th rule – Only one Private Chat at a time. Multiple Private Chats occurring at the same time would be confusing, so we’ve kept it to one at a time to help keep things straight.

6th rule – Stay engaged in the Private Chat. If you forget about your Private Chat, or it is inactive for 1 minute, the chat is deleted from both sides. Private Chats are meant to keep both parties fully engaged and discuss confidential information in real time.

7th rule – You do not mention each other’s names in Private Chats. While in a Private Chat, we’ve removed names and avatars of both parties to ensure your personal information is hidden, allowing you to chat with confidence. So, leave real names out of it.

8th rule – In your first 1:1 chat after upgrading to the latest version of BBM, you MUST have a Private Chat. Not really, but you should.

Now you’re ready to start chatting with confidence.

Remember, Private Chat is part of the new “Privacy and Control” subscription, which has several powerful features bundled into one package:

  • Private Chat
  • Edit Message – made a mistake? Now you can retract it, change it, and send your message again
  • Timed messages and pictures
  • Retract messages

All existing Timed and Retracted Messages subscribers will be upgraded to the new Privacy and Control Subscription at no additional cost.

To learn more about BBM and Private Chat, check out this post or watch this video:


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Instant Mobile Payments for BBM Money Launched in Indonesia

BBM Money users on all platforms in Indonesia can now pay for goods and services online and in stores – regardless of who they bank with.

exclusive interview

Last Wednesday we held an event to update media and the Android, BlackBerry and iOS communities in Indonesia on BBM. We focused particularly on an update to BBM Money that for the first time brings Instant Mobile Payments to users of the app on all major platforms in Indonesia (that’s me on the right demonstrating the new feature to reporters).

For anyone not already familiar: BBM Money is an app which integrates directly with a customer’s BBM account, letting Indonesian users pay for goods in real-time using the BBM platform they are familiar and comfortable with – all underpinned by BlackBerry’s expertise and legacy in security and privacy.

As many of you already know, BBM remains the most popular messaging app in Indonesia, particularly on devices running Android. However, in addition to the popularity and renown that BBM commands in Indonesia, there are three trends making Indonesia the obvious choice in which to launch a mobile money scheme.

Firstly, with 250 million people experiencing rapid economic development, e-commerce in Indonesia is booming. In fact, e-commerce is growing at the second-fastest pace globally, behind only China.

Secondly, while the use of mobile messaging seems commonplace in Indonesia, smartphone penetration has only just reached 20%. The rate of adoption is among the highest in the world, however, meaning the first experience of the internet for most Indonesians today is from a smartphone. This presents an amazing opportunity for the growing number of innovative and entrepreneurial online retail startups in the country to attract new customers via their smartphones – and is where the BBM Mobile Ad Platform and BBM Channels come into their own.

Thirdly, less than 20% of Indonesians have access to a traditional bank account. Moreover, just 11% of the 250 million inhabitants of Indonesia have debit cards and only 3% have credit cards. This means there are more BBM users in the country than there are debit and credit card users combined. For anyone without access to a bank account or payment card, what could be more convenient than a mobile payment service deeply integrated with the mobile messaging service they love so much?

crowdFollowing an update to the BBM Money app for Android, BlackBerry and iOS, our customers can now use Instant Mobile Payments to pay for goods and services online and in participating retailers’ stores, regardless of who they bank with. The payment happens instantly without the need to make a trip to an ATM to transfer money to the merchant.

To celebrate Ramadan – the busiest buying season of the year in Indonesia – we are working with a group of retailers, all of which already accept Instant Mobile Payments via BBM Money. These include leading fashion, electronics, food and gift retailers – but the team is hard at work signing up more and more merchants, as we continue building the BBM Money ecosystem in Indonesia.

I know a lot of you – and indeed, most of the press we met with this week! – are keen to understand whether we will launch services like BBM Money in markets beyond Indonesia. The answer is that payment services aren’t simple to replicate from one market to the next, given the complexity of local regulations and banking systems. However, we are actively looking at other markets with traits similar to Indonesia, where it would make sense for us to invest in similar BBM-linked payment services. I’ll ensure we keep you updated on any news in this area.


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BlackBerry Messenger Update Brings New Private Chat Feature and More

The new Private Chat feature in BBM allows people to chat without contact names, and the chat self-destructs after short time.
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BBM Update: Control What You Share, With Confidence

Starting today, an update to BBM packed full of new features and improvements is rolling out for BlackBerry 10, Android and iOS.

If you’re a BBM user, then you already know that BBM is the best way to confidently share private moments with friends. Sending a timed picture that self-destructs, or retracting a message that was meant for one of your other friends, gives you control and peace of mind.

But what happens if the person you’re chatting with takes a screenshot? My coworker Zach looks like he’s already planning to fake being sick tomorrow. Not wanting to get stuck with all the work, I took a screenshot of his plan. Despite Zach sending me a timed message, I can still capture it. And although Zach gets notified that I took the screenshot, the damage is already done. Yikes poor Zach!

zach - pre

Zach should have used the new Private Chat feature. By starting a private chat he can ensure that his sensitive messages are kept discreet, and that his secret remains a secret.

zach - post

See the difference? There’s no names, no profile pictures, and the chat ends automatically after a short period of time. Now the screenshot is useless, because no one knows who said what! It’s the closest thing to chatting in person, and I know a few people who are really going to love this new feature.

Private Chat is included in the new Privacy and Control Subscription, which replaces the existing Timed and Retracted Messages Subscription.

Included in the Privacy and Control Subscription, you get:

  • Private Chat
  • Timed messages and pictures
  • Retract messages and pictures
  • Edit Message (Which is also new to the subscription. Made a mistake? Now you can retract it, change it, and send your message again.)

The Privacy and Control bundle is $0.99 per month, and for me, it’s already paid for itself.

Current Timed and Retracted Messages subscribers will be automatically upgraded at no additional cost.

What else is new?

As I mentioned a few weeks ago we’ve redesigned BBM for Android from the ground up, using material design principles as inspiration.
We’ve also:

  • Added a new way to organize your ever-growing sticker collection
  • Implemented a new “quote message” feature so you can reference previous messages in your chat
  • Updated the way font sizes are rendered on iOS. iPhone users are going to love that their BBM font size is based on the size selected in system settings.

I’ll be back soon to talk a bit more about some of my favorite new features, but in the meantime, update your BBM and start chatting, gossiping, and planning surprise parties with confidence. Don’t worry – I won’t tell.


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BlackBerry Considering Making Bacteria-Free Smartphone

"Health-care workers have to be worried about one less thing to wipe down," said Chen while announcing the plans.
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BlackBerry to Build Android Phone Only if It Can ‘Find a Way to Secure’ It

BlackBerry CEO John Chen made the statement following the company's earning results.
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BlackBerry Sales Dive, as 2 Phones Disappoint

BlackBerry Passport and Classic failed to make an impression on the QWERTY faithful.
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BlackBerry Q1 FY16 Highlights: 150% Software Sales and Licensing Growth, Cisco and Intel Deals, and More

BlackBerry continued its transformation into an enterprise solutions provider, as software sales –  powered by increased customer wins – grew year-over-year for a second straight quarter.

BlackBerry won 2,600 enterprise customers in the quarter, including many wins versus rival mobile management providers. The 2,600 customers is up significantly from the 2,200 wins three months earlier, which CEO John Chen called “rather solid” growth during the Q1 FY16 earnings call on Tuesday. And it contributed strongly to our total Q1 revenue from software and technology licensing sales of $137 million, a year-over-year growth of 150%. BlackBerry’s cash reserve now totals $3.32 billion, up 22% from $2.7 billion a year ago.

Customers in regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services abounded. In healthcare, they included Grand River Hospital, CarePartners, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Extendicare, Trillium Health Partners, and others.

In financial services, customer wins included ATB Financial, Blackstone, Broadridge, Waha Capital, Mcube Financial, Unit Credit (Russia), Farmers and Merchants Bank, Financial Technologies Group (India), Dragon Capital (Vietnam) and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Going Cross-Platform

Royal Bank of Scotland is replacing rival software from Mobile Iron and making our BES enterprise mobility management (EMM) software its corporate-wide, cross-platform standard, including for all its BYOD phones running iOS, Android and BlackBerry, said Chen.

Indeed, 45% of new enterprise customers are using our software for cross-platform purposes. Coming cross-platform offerings include the BES12 Android for Work edition, which separates work and business data on Android devices, as well as an upgrade to BBM Protected that brings even stronger, easier-to-use secure communications.

Other enterprise wins in the quarter included NCR (technology), Clifford Chance (UK-based multinational law firm), Magna (leading auto parts supplier), and Japanese telecom conglomerate NTT Docomo, courtesy of recent acquisition, document security provider, WatchDox.

About 60% of the enterprise customer wins came from our EZ-Pass marketing program, said Chen.

Debut of Technology Licensing

Technology licensing is a new and growing aspect of BlackBerry’s business. BlackBerry announced a long-term patent cross-licensing deal with Cisco Systems. The deal, one of the outgrowths of BlackBerry’s vaunted patent portfolio, will result in a license fee paid by Cisco to BlackBerry.

CEO John Chen also noted a second licensing deal during the quarter with a “major technology provider” that for contract reasons he was unable to name.

Meanwhile, Intel is licensing our QNX platform for its next-generation connected car efforts. QNX is the most popular connected car platform today, with 60 million cars on the road today relying on QNX, said Chen.

Besides the Cisco and Intel deals, other wins from BlackBerry’s BTS Division (BlackBerry Technology Solutions) include the licensing of our Certicom encrypted certificates to manage 104 million smart power meters in the UK, and the licensing of Paratek antenna technology to ON Semiconductor.

BlackBerry is also winning friends and partners. 120 partners around the globe are now reselling BlackBerry’s software and services. New enterprise resellers include Rogers, Bell, Orange, Celcom and Maxis (both in Malaysia), and PT XL in Indonesia.

And 5 universities are working with BlackBerry on its Center for High Assurance Computing Excellence (CHACE), including the University of California San Francisco and Santa Barbara campuses, University of Oxford, University of Waterloo, and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.


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BlackBerry Posts Jump in Quarterly Software Revenue

Over quarterly revenue totaled $658 million in the quarter, slightly lower than the prior period.
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The BlackBerry Leap Keeps this UK Doctor Professionally Healthy

Over the past few months, we have profiled a number of BlackBerry Passport and BlackBerry Classic users, and based on their stories, it’s no surprise that BlackBerry is at the heart of their successes.

UK-based doctor and 2013 The Apprentice UK winner, Leah Totton, has a similar story as she also relies on her BlackBerry-of-choice – the BlackBerry Leap.

Read why she can’t live without her BlackBerry Leap in her Guest Post below:

Leah 3 (2)I do not believe that my business would run as smoothly as it does if I did not have a reliable and efficient smartphone. Today, there are so many different devices on offer, all promising things they do not always deliver on. Realistically, I am not bothered about the brand I carry in my hand, I just want a phone that will make my life as easy as possible and that offers the best features for my professional needs.

Since using the new BlackBerry Leap over the past few weeks, I have found it the perfect tool for running my business, Dr Leah Clinics. I can instantly switch between sending important updates and emails to staff and patients, to organising appointments and my calendar for the week ahead. The standout feature that enables me to be proactive and efficient is the BlackBerry Hub – all of my messages, whether a social media update or a meeting planner, are located in one place. It is such a simple, yet hugely beneficial feature, as it means I don’t risk missing any messages or letting anything slip, which as both a doctor and a business owner, I cannot afford to do! With the Hub, I know that I can find any message really quickly, instead of having to constantly switch between apps and having hundreds of different conversations on the go.

While the Hub is definitely one of the most useful features I have come across on a phone, there are so many other benefits to the Leap that make it a fantastic device and an essential tool for anyone running a business.

The one downside to a lot of smartphones these days is that typing on a touch screen just isn’t as easy, or accurate, as with a keyboard. Obviously BlackBerry is famous for its keyboard and, I have to say, I was a little surprised when I first received the Leap to see that it was in fact touch screen. However, I have to say that, since using the Leap, I’ve found it to have a really impressive keyboard that is intuitive and intelligent, allowing me to type emails seamlessly.

For me, an average day tends to consist of racing from a client appointment at the clinic in the City of London to a conference, board meeting or a shift at hospital, and I need to be confident that my phone battery will last me through the day – there is nothing worse than getting to the end of a long day and not being able to check my emails on my way home! The BlackBerry Leap battery life is really impressive – 25 hours of on-the-go use, meaning I don’t have to compromise my mobile activity for fear of draining my battery, which is a huge bonus for me.

As a doctor running a busy clinic, I need to know that all my emails, notes and information are completely secure and confidential. BlackBerry has always been renowned for its security credentials, and this is paramount for me and my business. Using the BlackBerry Leap, I know that any information on my phone is guaranteed to be safe and secure, unlike with other smartphones that have experienced security breaches in the past – and this is something that, for both my clinic and my profession, just cannot be compromised.

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Looking to check out the BlackBerry Leap for yourself? Visit BlackBerry.com/Leap…or better yet, take our word for it, and buy one today.

Get an unlocked BlackBerry Leap from ShopBlackBerry, or visit BlackBerry.com/BuyLeap for local availability.


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