Today at BlackBerry Jam in Hong Kong we saw BBM being demo’d from a PC.
Before you all race out to download software for you computer to make this happen, it isn’t out yet. Plus, it isn’t actually software as such.
BBM on your desktop is actually done by connecting your BlackBerry smartphone into your laptop via USB and as a result it will then open a window on your desktop. This desktop window then projects your phones BBM for you to interact with using your mouse and keyboard. Furthermore, if you want to send an image or file to someone over BBM you can do so using Windows explorer. This is handy.
BBM from your PC or Mac will remove the need to check your phone whenever it beeps as you will be able to manage it entirely from your computer.
The fact that this is indeed a projection of your device onto your PC opens up a lot of questions around how limited this is to just the BBM app on your phone. For example, if a call comes in on my Z10 then can I just answer it on my laptop using the inbuilt mic and speaker or my headphones? I need to find out.
This is very early days and this was a concept demo but from what we saw today this is very promising and a good sign!
Bring on BBM for the desktop.
I had a session with Chris Smith, the Vice President of Application Platform at BlackBerry, and asked him about availability for BBM from the desktop like we saw in the morning keynote.
In exact words “no plans” to which I said “so was it just a proof of concept?” and his words “not even a proof of concept”. Ultimately Chris wanted to make it clear that what we say today was just a demo of how capable the USB Host feature can be and for developers to take that and run with it.
So if you are a developer and you want to make some money, develop the BBM for desktops app, going off the twitter stream today people really want this to happen.
Personally, I found it a little sad that while BlackBerry is working on BBM for iPhone and Android, it is also ignoring the potential of it running on a PC or Mac and hoping someone else will do it.
Anyway, I’ll finish this box of tissues and move on.