Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cross Platform Instant Messaging!

Now I know you guys and gals are all cool and own a BlackBerry. But I also understand that not all of your friends can be as cool as we are :-D
Add SMS to BBM
I have friends with iphones, Android phones, and just regular dumb phones. My problem is, BBM is my favorite form of communication (next to a phone call).
Here are several methods of having BBM like conversations with your non-BlackBerry friends.
#1- Add your friend to BBM via their phone number. Since BBM 5.0/OS 5.0 users are able to add SMS right into BBM. To do this, click add a contact from inside BBM. Then select the third option (if its not there, its because you don't have OS 5.0) "Add a text messaging contact". This will place your friend in BBM, but is really just sending a text message to them. Be careful here, if you don't have a text messaging can get very carried away chatting not realizing every response is costing you 15 cents!

Kik Chat

#2 in App world download Kik chat. . This is a cross platform IM program. It runs on most popular platforms including iphone and Android. You will have to create a user ID and add your contacts (you will need to know their user name). What I like about this program is it has the same D and R that we've all grown to love in BBM. Unfortunately it lacks the ability to send photos or videos or voicenotes. The developer is promising many of those features in the near future. Keep in mind that this program uses your data connection and not SMS/text so it should be free of charge to use.


#3 in App world download PingChat! . This is another cross platform IM program. It also runs on all major platforms. Again you will need to create a user ID and you must also know your friends user ID. Once added, you can link them with their contact card in your address book. This will assume any picture they have assigned to them in your address book as well. I found PingChat! to have more features (you can send pictures, and voicenotes ) but it lacks the D and Are of BBM, and somehow feels clunky and difficult to navigate. It does however, do what it says it will do, and that is allow you to send BBM like messages using your data connection (not SMS/text) to other smartphones for free.
Now all you have to do is convince your non BlackBerry friends to install the App of choice and you can begin to enjoy IM messaging across smartphone platforms!

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