One of my favourite applications on my Bold 9900 is BlackBerry Messenger or BBM. BBM is more than simply a messaging system – it’s an easy way to keep in touch and coordinate events with my friends and family. BBM allows me to share my calendar appointments with the people I need to – I can invite a friend to a concert or my parents to a family dinner. It also allows me to easily send pictures in a compressed format. I use this feature while shopping if i need a quick opinion from a friend on a shirt or a pair of shoes. With BBM connected apps I can chat with my BBM contacts within certain apps such as foursquare or twitter. The biggest advantage BBM has over text messaging is that messages in BBM can be up to 2000 characters long. This means that I can send 1 longer message and get the whole story across. My favourite feature of BBM (apart from it not using any of my data because of the plan I’m on) is that I can see when my messages are delivered and read. I can invite multiple people to join a conversation – which comes in very handy when I’ve been at a large event and want to meet up with people. Adding people to BBM is really easy too – from the “invite to BBM” screen, you can enter the person’s name, email, phone number, or PIN. If you’re in the same room as the person you want to add you can scan their BBM bar code – it’s really neat and easy to do.
Displaying your bar code for others to scan was a bit tricky at first but then I learned that all I had to do was hit the BlackBerry button while in BBM, select “view my profile”, and then scroll down to “personal bar code” and select “show”. Quick and efficient.
A feature that I’ve started using recently is BBM Groups. BBM groups are different from simply having a chat with multiple people in it. For starters you can have people in your BBM group who aren’t on your BBM contact list. You can have up to 30 people in a BBM group. I have one for my football contacts and love being able to make and share appointments and pictures quickly within the group. Joining a group is as easy as scanning the group bar code. You can invite other people to join a group you’ve made by getting them to scan the group bar code as you display it on your phone. I was a guest of BlackBerry at the Manulife Financial LPGA tournament in Waterloo last week, I couldn’t attend the final day (Sunday) due to other commitments, but because I had scanned a BBM bar code from BlackBerry@LPGA I was kept up to date with tournament and scoring information. Several other organizations have similar promotions – you can become a BlackBerry Blue Jays Insider by entering the PIN or scanning the bar code found at Bluejays.com. This gives you access to contests, video content on your device, score updates and more.