Blackberry Messenger is a signature feature on Blackberry devices. A chat client just for those that are “in” to use to converse. The new BBM 5.0, or just ‘Blackberry Messenger’ as it is called in App World, surpasses v4.7 with leaps and bounds. Here we outline the greatness and usefulness of BBM 5.0!

Many users that downloaded the leaked OS 5.0.0.xxx were worried that the new BBM 5.0 would not work. We heard rumors that in order for it to work on a leaked OS 5.0 device it would have to be BBM Good thing the official version released is! We can confirm that BBM 5.0 does work on OS, but as for other OS 5.0 leaks, we aren’t sure. The official BBM 5.0 also sports slightly different aesthetics then the leaked version, as shown below:

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Here you can see Research In Motion has added a quick button to create a new group as well as scan a groups bar code. They’ve also changed the ‘no face avatar’ image and category bar images:

A new useful feature was the addition of ‘updates’. This can be found at the very top of the homescreen. If you click ‘Recent Updates’ it will take you to a list that shows what all has been updated to your contacts (i.e. new avatars, status, etc.) Here’s what it looks like:

In BBM 5.0 you can add an avatar that all users can see. This personalizes the chat client even more. You can change the image by accessing your profile page and clicking on the ‘no face avatar’ image. You can also set whether you’re listed as ‘available’, ‘busy’, or you can add a custom message.

Threaded chatting is also included in the official BBM 5.0 release, but only if you are running OS 5.0 on your phone. You have to already have the threaded SMS in order for it to show up in BBM 5.0. Another cool feature that was added is if you are texting a friend through SMS and BBM 5.0, all messages received through SMS will automatically end up in your BBM 5.0 inbox. We think this makes it easier to keep track of your conversations and quite frankly makes sense.

A nice groups feature has been integrated into BBM 5.0. Here you can create your own group, password protect it (for invite only), or make it open to the public (if you display your groups QR code). Each group can hold a maximum of 30 people.

Once you’ve created a group you can share photos (that last up to 28 days, unless you fav them), make lists, make appointments and add to a calendar, and of course chat.

Unfortunately, our capture program wouldn’t allow us to take captures of what a group looks like, but you can see for yourself, just create one! We can see why RIM has added the groups feature as it makes for a great chatting client between friends and colleagues! We’re sure business professionals will find the lists and calendar features very handy.


QR code has been incorporated in the official BBM 5.0 release, as was shown in the leaked version. This makes a very easy and efficient way to share/send your contact info with a fellow berry user.

Simply click the button highlighted above to show your QR code. The user adding you to their Blackberry will pull up a screen that looks like this:

Here they will select to scan your QR barcode image to add you to their BBM contacts list. Each Blackberry gets their own unique QR code that compresses their contact data. By letting your Blackberry take a picture of the QR code it reads the contact data and automatically stores and adds the data to your phone.

Here is a pic of our QR code:

BBM 5.0 has included some excellent features. RIM has made it easier and better to chat, add contacts, broadcast messages, and more. The use of QR code is by far one of the most unique features they could have included, but it isn’t the best. What we feel was the greatest item they brought to BBM 5.0 was the ability to backup and restore all of your BBM contacts. We’ve personally experienced restoring contacts after losing BBM and can’t tell you how easy it is. Basically, all of your BBM data is stored on RIM’s servers and when BBM 5.0 initializes for the first time it checks their servers for any BBM data based on the e-mail address(es) you have stored. And voila, any contacts you had backed up will automatically be added, fast!

Blackberry Messenger 5.0 is a huge step in the right direction for Research In Motion. Now that every Blackberry user can enjoy the awesomeness of BBM 5.0 we’re sure everyone else will agree that v4.7 is history. What we can’t stop thinking about is what will be next. What could BBM 6.0 be like? Nevertheless, BBM 5.0 should be listed as one of the ‘top free’ applications in Blackberry App World. Enjoy 🙂

Our Rating: 5 / 5