Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Office 365 is king of business web apps, but Slack is growing fastest

Which is the most popular business app used online? Unsurprisingly, it’s Office 365, the subscription version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, according to some new research which details the most-used web apps.

These figures were revealed by Okta, a firm which produces software to manage employee logins to online services. The company found that among its customers, Office 365 was king of the enterprise cloud apps, followed by Salesforce.com, Box, Google Apps for Work, and in fifth place was Amazon Web Services.

Okta also made an interesting observation regarding Office 365 and Google Apps both being used within the same organisation. Indeed, data showed that over 40% of companies use both of these services due to preferences for one or the other in different departments.

Not slacking

As for the fastest growing business app, that was Slack, which witnessed a growth rate of 77% in the second half of 2015. We can expect Slack to put in a very good showing this year, by all accounts, as it’s continuing to pick up the pace with “no sign of slowing down just yet” Okta says.

Adobe’s Creative Cloud also had a good year in 2015, growing its user numbers by 44% according to the report.

One final nugget on business security for you: Okta found that 30% of organisations are now using multi-factor authentication, a number that still needs to increase in an ideal world.

[Source:- Techrader]

 

Cisco boosts SDN range with ACI update

Cisco corporate

Cisco claims that customers can take a further step towards network automation as it launched a new release of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software to its software defined networking range.

Despite massive demand there are only 5% of networks being automated, according to Cisco’s own customer feedback. In response it has moved to simplify the task by making it easier to address all the various autonomous segments of any complicated network infrastructure.

The new software revision of ACI makes it capable of microsegmentation of both physical (i.e. bare metal) applications and virtualized applications, which are separated from the hardware by virtual operating systems such as VMware VDS and Microsoft Hyper-V. By extending ACI across multi-site environments it will enable cloud operators and network managers to devise policy-driven automation of multiple data centres.

In addition, Cisco claimed it has paved the way for integration with Docker containers through its contributions to open source. This, it said, means customers can get a consistent policy model and have more options to choose from when using the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC).

ACI now supports automated service insertion for any third party service running between layers four and seven on the network stack, it said. More support will be put behind cloud automation tools like VMware vRealize Automation and OpenStack, including open standards-based Opflex support with Open vSwitch (OVS).

The ACI ecosystem now makes the automation of entire application suites possible, including Platform as a Service (PAAS) and Software as a Service (SAAS) and there are now over 5000 Nexus 9000 ACI-ready customers using Cisco’s open platform it said.

“Customers tell me that only five to ten percent of their networks are automated today,” said Soni Jiandani, SVP at Cisco. Though they are eager to adopt comprehensive automation for their networks and network services through a single pane of management, they haven’t managed it yet. However, since several ACI customers have achieved full this could be the next step, said Jiandani.

 

[Source:- BCN]

Battleborn system requirements revealed, no 4K support at launch

Battleborn Hero art

2K Games has dropped a big Battleborn info dump that helpfully collects everything you ever wanted to know about the upcoming FPS/MOBA hybrid but were afraid to ask. Highlights include a rundown of Hardcore Mode, which ramps up the Story Mode with “extra loot, all new unlockable content, and some really, REALLY tough fights,” as well as a brief overview of the three Competitive Multiplayer modes—Incursion, Capture, and Meltdown—a look at the character progression systems, and most important of all, the system requirements.

The Minimum:

  • OS: Windows 7 x64-Bit or Later
  • CPU: Intel i5-750 / AMD Phenom IIx4 945
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Hard Drive: 30 GB free
  • Video Memory: 1 GB
  • Minimum Required Video Card: AMD HD 6870/ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or better, PhysX support
  • Sound: DirectX 11
  • Input: Keyboard or dual-analog gameplay

The Recommended:

  • OS: Windows 7 x64-Bit or Later
  • CPU: Intel i5-750 / AMD Phenom IIx4 945
  • RAM: 6 GB
  • Hard Drive: 50 GB free
  • Video Memory: 2 GB
  • Recommended Video Card: AMD HD 7850/ NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or better, PhysX support
  • Sound: DirectX 11
  • Input: Keyboard or dual-analog gamepad

Interestingly, Battleborn will support “general gamepads” and PS4 and Xbox One controllers at launch, but Steam controller support won’t be implemented until sometime after it comes out. It also won’t support 4K or “off-sized displays,” although Gearbox/2K are “actively investigating both.”

The blog post also includes a link to the Battleborn “prequel comic,” a multimedia extravaganza of exposition that sets the stage for the battle for the fate of the star Solus. The first part, Running the Numbers, is viewable now, while the second and third parts are “coming soon.” And that’s probably no lie: The Battleborn open beta begins on April 13, and the “series premiere” is set for May 3.

 

[Source:- PCgamer]

Creating Stronger Brand Value Wins More Business

Creating Stronger Brand Value Wins More Business | Social Media Today

We’re bombarded with brand messaging every day, but sometimes principals/equity partners find it hard to understand the value of their company’s brand. If you’re among them, you’re certainly not alone. Many professional services executives see their brand as little more than a logo, tagline and a few website pages. They don’t focus on developing their brand beyond those elements because they fail to recognize how branding can directly affect their company’s success.

In truth, your corporate branding is far more than a logo, or even the messaging on your company website. Your brand includes everything your clients – current and future – know about your company. You want that audience to react in a positive way whenever they encounter your brand. The goal is to elicit a reaction that leads prospects to select your services over competitors.

By strategically developing your brand value, you can foster strong relationships with clients and prospects and build a stronger path to new business. But to develop that brand value, you need to think beyond the logo and tagline.

BREAKING DOWN YOUR BRAND

Your brand’s value is a measure of your company’s reputation and visibility.

Visibility describes how your business appears to the outside world, both online and offline. Think of it this way – to elicit a reaction, your brand has to be present before your target market. This visibility can include displaying your logo prominently on the jobsite, at select conference/events, on your website, through social media and even in proposal materials. Recognizing where your audience is will help determine the level of effort required on this front.

Reputation is the way the marketplace thinks of your organization and the regard it holds for the services you provide. That regard will be based on the experiences those in the marketplace have had with your company and what others in the industry say about your brand. A prospective client might not directly interact with your company, but they may work closely with, for example, a subcontractor who mentions your high regard for job site safety, or an architect who describes how your team prevented cost overruns on a past project. In other words, the relationships and experiences you have with everyone in your industry can influence your reputation.

Of course, your visibility and reputation are rarely dictated by your own communications – not in today’s world of social media. Your reputation is reflected in both online and offline communication – messages that are driven from inside and outside the organization.

These messages can take many forms: the testimonials you collect from satisfied clients (positive), online reviews written by unhappy former employees (negative), or a discussion by clients about your company’s ability to meet deadlines (positive). While you can’t control all messages, you can control how you react and turn even negative comments into a chance to demonstrate what your brand is truly about.

ENSURING BRAND CONSISTENCY IN YOUR ORGANIZATION

Your brand needs to be more than a mission statement mentioned during annual meetings, it need to be reflected in everyday interactions.

One of the biggest challenges in developing brand value is ensuring that everyone in the company – from the executive suite to the front desk – understands your brand and conveys it in all business dealings.

While getting everyone on the same page can be a challenge, it’s crucial because an inconsistent reflection of your brand can damage your organisation’s reputation significantly. For example, consider my recent conversation with the CEO of a 35-year-old architecture firm. He was struggling to extract himself from day-to-day client management discussions, and while he was excited to lead all new client pitches, they left him no time to run the business. He was stymied because the junior staff, while technically excellent, did not communicate the brand’s differentiators as clearly as he could.

BOOSTING YOUR BRAND’S VISIBILITY

If you’re looking to build your brand, don’t focus on the reputation you have today – take a moment to explore what you want your brand to mean. What feelings do you want it to convey to the marketplace? Start with the perception current clients have of your company and where they perceive your business to be providing most value. Understanding this will help you to enhance your brand focus, both internally and externally.

  • Internally – Begin by educating all employees on your firm’s core differentiators. Make sure managers, technical professionals and salespeople alike can explain the company’s value proposition and what sets it apart. The message shouldn’t focus on how great your employees are, or even how terrific your work is. It should be about the relevancy of your business to prospective clients’ most important issues and goals.
  • Externally – Get to work raising your brand’s visibility by demonstrating thought leadership. This can take a variety of forms; You might consider blogging on your company website or contributing articles to leading industry publications; You might explore speaking opportunities at relevant events that put you in front of prospective clients; You could boost your social presence with relevant materials, with a focus on enhancing your online community. Whatever direction you choose, building visibility isn’t done with a single blog or speech – consistency and relevance are key. It’s also important to ensure your message is clearly conveyed. After all, you want to leave readers, listeners and all prospects extending the reach of your message.

Once you’ve objectively understood the internal and external perceptions of your business and it’s brand value, it’s time to take that brand to the next level and win more business.


[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

Plex for iOS Review

Plex for iOS

If you want access to the media sitting on your PC or Mac, on your iPhone or iPad, then the Plex solution is a rather neat one you can use.

PLEX FOR IOS RATING 70100

Our Verdict

If you want access to the media sitting on your PC or Mac, on your iPhone or iPad, then the Plex solution is a rather neat one you can use. The client on the desktop is simple enough to configure, and once you point it to the media folders, you get all that on your iPad via Wi-Fi. Yes, it will work on 3G as well, once you have signed up for the MyPlex service. Streaming quality is very good, and it doesn’t throw any tantrums with regards to which video formats it handles. Encoding done on the fly, when needed, and even 1080p videos stream perfectly. Desktop client can act a bit weird at times though, when it comes to categorizing media. But that is just a small issue, because as a whole, things work well.

 

PROS

  • Simple to set up
  • iOS app immediately detects new content from PC
  • Smooth stutter free streaming
  • Handles wide variety of video formats
  • Music streaming via iTunes is a huge bonus

CONS

  • Desktop software (Windows) is a bit clunky
  • Streaming on 3G will result in a great data bill

Plex for iOS: Detailed Review

For all its positives, Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad have frustrated users by equal measure, thanks to their insistence at only playing back limited video formats natively. For anyone who has a whole collection of videos in various formats that iDevices refuse to accept, it will be a major pain to convert them all first and then play back. But that is not the only reason why solutions like Plex are needed.

The App: How it works
Apart from the ability to play back almost every video format, Plex also gives you the convenience of accessing the entire video and music library that sits on your PC, on your iPhone or iPad, without having to bother with transferring the content to the device. Limited storage on the device, the effort of deleting old stuff to prevent memory overload or the effort of syncing new files won’t be of consideration anymore.

The app set up is two pronged. You need to download the desktop client, available for both Windows and Mac. Thus client is free to download. Then, you need to download the Plex app on the iOS device you want to configure. Both devices need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, needless to specify. Once you have installed and gone through the initial setup on the desktop, tap refresh on the iDevice app’s interface and the desktop client will be detected. Now, whatever changes you make – adding media, modifying media details etc. – will be immediately reflected on the iDevice.

How we tested: To the core!
To get the best possible experience, we are testing this app on an iPad, because the bigger screen makes it simpler to understand the UI and see how good the media streaming quality is. To see how good the streaming quality is, in the event the router isn’t the best, we were using the Beetel 450 TC1 wireless “G” router. This is a fairly limited in-between device, and usually, it can only handle SD content streaming from the PC to the WD Live or the PlayStation 3. The idea is to find how low the set up can go, till the service works. It is a given that streaming will work brilliantly on a good quality Wireless “N” router, but then again, not everyone has that kind of set up available.

The Interface: Neat, and it works
This application, as a package, has two aspects. One is the desktop client, either on your PC or Mac. The second is the app that sits on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

We will take a look at the desktop client first. We were using a Windows laptop for this review (mere mortals, you see!), and the one being pictured here is the Windows desktop client. The interface on the desktop version is very neat. You get to sign up the first time, and then proceed to add sections of content based on the genre you wish – Movies, TV, Music, Photos or videos that you may have recorded under the section “Home Videos”. Fairly well segregated content, and we appreciate the simplicity and convenience it potentially offers – particularly when the library becomes big over time. You can add more than one folder under a particular content genre, and that is again very useful if you happen to have content spread across partitions on your hard drive and an external drive.

Once you are done with pointing Plex to where your content sits, you head to the home screen of the app – this is the screen that you will start with from now on, since you are always signed in. At the beginning are big icons for the Library categories. Below that are the recently added videos, irrespective of the genre they may be falling in.

The movies are listed with their cover art, and clicking on them takes you to the details page, all of which have been automatically downloaded. The TV shows get listed by each episode, complete with a thumbnail image and the summary.

Now shifting to the app on the iPad, and the similarity of the interface is very similar. You have the similar sections as the desktop version, with the real addition being streaming channels that you can add. All the information that is visible, per piece of content, will also be visible on the iPad.

Performance
Getting content set up on the desktop is a fairly simple task. After pointing the client to all the folders that house the relevant media content, the app usually automatically refreshes the view to show the new stuff. This is very neat and helpful, particularly for if you are handling a lot of different TV series’ and their episodes. However, we did notice that a couple of times, that didn’t happen. Helpfully, there is that refresh option on the top right. While most content was segregated properly, we did notice that there was a consistency issue with the movies section. Of the four movies that we added, three showed up immediately under the correct genre cluster. However, the Last Passenger refused to be categorized under Movies. While Plex itself scraped all the movie data (plot summary, cover art and fan art), it still didn’t categorize that particular file in the movies section. That was a tad weird, and no matter that we removed that movie and added it again, it still refused to be categorized properly.

Apart from this niggle, setting this up and getting it to work was a breeze. The moment new content is added on the desktop version, the iDevice will immediately refresh as well. There are two ways of playing back stuff on the iPad – either you direct the desktop software to play the video on the connected Apple device, or you can select from the device itself. Both ways, the video starts after a 3 second wait. And the playback is very smooth. We tried a lot of different videos – SD content, 720p MKV, 720p MP4, 1080P MKV and 1080P MP4, and all played back without any issues. The Plex desktop software will recode the videos on the fly, so smoothly that you won’t even realize when that is being done.

As we had mentioned earlier, we were using a router with rather limited capability, and it was a surprise to see how well the streaming worked on that. Even skipping through the timeline of a traditionally big 1080p MKV video didn’t induce any stutter, only a 2 second wait before the video began without any skipping or audio video mismatch.

Incidentally, this is the same router that is hardly able to handle media streaming of any kind – between PC and PC to WD Live.

Bottom Line
This is a rather simple app that you can get for yourself, and enjoy all the media that sits on your PC, anywhere in your home, on your iPad, iPhone or the iPod Touch. No risk of running out of space on the device, or having to sync data to and from the iDevices every time you fancy watching something new. The desktop client is free, and we believe the money you spend on the iOS version is totally worth it.

Download: Link
Price: Rs. 270
Publisher: Plex Inc.
Compatibility: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 5.1 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

 

[Source:- Digit]

How Microsoft is serious about supporting Linux and cloud rivals with OMS

How Microsoft is serious about supporting Linux and cloud rivals with OMS

When Microsoft first announced its new Operations Management Suite (OMS) cloud monitoring service last May, it wasn’t the case that handling Linux systems was an afterthought, but the tools certainly didn’t have parity with what you could do for Windows Server.

At the time, Jeremy Winter, who runs the OMS team, talked about Linux as being “on our roadmap to come” with the first option being deploying Microsoft’s own management agent into a Linux VM – which could be on AWS or VMware, not just Windows Server or Azure.

In the old Microsoft days, things might have stayed at that level, like a cloud version of the System Center approach. But the way Microsoft approaches cross-platform is rather different now and even veterans of System Center like Robert Reynolds understand that Microsoft needs to fit in with the existing Linux ecosystem, and that’s why the Linux agent for OMS is now a plugin to the popular Fluentd, even though Microsoft had originally experimented with an agent for the Linux systemd service manager.

Working with the community

“When we started the preview, we had our own management agents,” Reynolds explains, “but the Linux community said to us ‘we already have agents deployed, there’s already an open agent infrastructure’. So we worked with the community to find out which agent they preferred, which one they thought would be the long-term choice and the majority of people we’re working with have adopted Fluentd, so we went with that.”

And in a move that would have once been unusual but is quickly becoming ‘business as usual’ at Microsoft, the OMS plugin for Fluentd is being open sourced. “We’re Microsoft, so there’s scepticism,” admits Reynolds. “We’re going to earn it. Part of earning that support and trust in the Linux community is being part of it, so that’s how we’re making decisions for Linux support and how we’re delivering them.”

There’s already support for connecting to existing open source monitoring services like Nagios and Zabbix from OMS. “We have the ability to plug in to those existing data streams. So instead of having to go replace an entire infrastructure or technology that’s already there, things like Nagios and Zabbix we can immediately connect to and start to pump the data in from.”

The OMS team has also started working on allowing customers to create custom logs and environments – that work will continue through the next year, he says. But the willingness to work with the Linux community has already led to what he calls “steady growth – 10% and more a month – in on-boarding Linux machines” since the Fluentd plugin came out last October.

Supporting rivals

There’s the same commitment to supporting VMware and rival clouds like AWS and OpenStack. “With our backup service in OMS, we support VMware backups, so machines running on VMware can be backed up from one VMware environment to another VMware environment that’s running on-premises, and we managed to simplify a lot of the technology that’s needed there.

“That also allows us to do VMware to Azure to give you failover sites. And we did RedHat support so that you can have VMware and RedHat instances that are being protected to Azure.”

The same approach applies to managing virtual machines, wherever they are. “There are two ways to think about a bunch of VMs,” he points out. “We can go and put agents in them, but the other option is that the platform itself will provide some monitoring and manageability and we can plug into that instead. In AWS, for example, that’s CloudWatch, and over time we’ll connect to those APIs and be able to collect data and analyse that.”

For alerts, you can already use a webhook to send an OMS alert to a range of services. “You can just cut and paste the webhook URL from PagerDuty, Zendesk, Slack; anything that supports webhook. And that’s a big, big list.”

“The notion of making sure that it’s truly on any operating system is key,” says Reynolds. “If you want to get the 100% view, at the right level of fidelity, into your environment, this is where we’re bringing all this data together.”

 
[Source:- Techrader]

Oracle gets tax breaks to build cloud campus in Texas

Oracle

Oracle has unveiled plans for a technology campus in Austin, Texas in a bid to expand its workforce by 50% in three years. It’s looking for millennials who want to work and live on site and sell cloud computing systems, by creating a combined office and housing complex.

Oracle is also to close its Oregon offices and incorporate the facilities in the new Texas complex. No details were given over staff re-location.

The move is part of a state initiative, including tax breaks and low regulation, as Texas positions itself as a home for innovation and technology. “I will continue to pursue policies that invite the expansion and relocation of tech companies to Texas,” said Texas State Governor Greg Abbott.

The site will include cheap accommodation as Oracle competes for talent in a region with a high concentration of technology start-ups. Its recruitment drive will be aimed at graduates and technical professionals at early stages in their career with the majority of new jobs being created in Oracle’s cloud sales organisation, Oracle Direct.

Oracle is to work with local firms in building the campus, the plans for which include the consolidation of Oracle’s facilities in Oregon. In the first phase it will build a 560,000 square foot complex on the waterfront of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake. It is also building a housing complex next door, with 295 apartments, for employee housing.

Austin’s technology community is teeming with creative and innovative thinkers and the town is a natural choice for investment and growth, claimed Oracle Direct’s Senior VP Scott Armour. “Our campus will inspire, support and attract top talent, with a special focus on the needs of millennials,” said Armour.

Austin’s biggest problems are affordability and mobility, according to Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler. “I look forward to working with Oracle to tackle our biggest challenges,” he said.

 

[Source:- BCN]

Wildstar’s Destination Arcterra update goes live

Wildstar Destination Arcterra

Wildstar has received its first major content dump since going free-to-play in September last year. Destination Arcterra invites you to explore a frigid continent in following the tale of Drusera and the Entity. Along with its telegraphing, dodge-rolling combat system, Wildstar’s story was a joy, so more of that, please.

There’s also a new dungeon below the wastes, unlocked for one faction every 24 hours based on who reaps the most keys from bosses roaming the zone. Andy has a neat summary for you, but if you’d like the unadulterated, nitty-gritty patch notes, they’re over on the WildStar forums.

We were promised a Steam release for Wildstar in the first half of 2016, which I figured would accompany the release of Arcterra. A cursory search on the Steam Store says otherwise, but I’d be surprised if it’s still far off—launching on Steam could do a lot for a game whose developer recently suffered yet more layoffs.

 

[Source:- PCgamer]

3 Ways to Drive Community Engagement Through Email

3 Ways to Drive Community Engagement Through Email | Social Media Today

Ongoing engagement is critical to the success of an online community. Without active dialogue and member participation, communities fail to meet the expectations of organizational leaders and stakeholders. Increasing engagement enables companies to build a community that’s healthy and successful, as well as achieve high customer retention and user satisfaction. However, increasing online community engagement can be a challenge. Email is an effective way to keep your community top of mind and build quality user participation.

Here are three ways email can effectively build engagement in your online community:

1. CREATE A MESSAGE THAT RESONATES

We’ve found that one of the best ways to engage with an audience is to first understand their interests. At DZone, our users are some of the world’s smartest (and best) software developers and technology professionals – they’re short on time and have low tolerance for anything that isn’t useful. These are important points to understand as we grow our community. Keeping these points in mind guides the way we choose to communicate with our users.

With email, we’re able to deliver a message that resonates with our audience and encourages community engagement. According to Pardot, the top three uses of email marketing are newsletters (66%), promotional content (54%), and welcome series emails (42%). Our Daily Digest newsletter keeps users informed on site activity and encourages them to like, comment on, and share the posts they find compelling.

We also refine our emails to meet the specific interests of our community members. In addition to the Daily Digest, we send spotlight emails for each portal, or Zone, and highlight top reads based on topics such as Java, Big Data, and DevOps. The more targeted the message, the more beneficial the emails are to our users.

2. ENCOURAGE ACTIONS

Once you identify the interests of your audience, you want them to take action. This can include a call to action, such as read the latest blog post or download a new eBook. In our case, we use email to showcase community content and direct people to DZone.com. Through consistent messaging and relevant information, our Daily Digest email increased our non-organic traffic by 100%. This increase in web traffic has resulted in significant levels of engagement.

3. KEEP THE CONVERSATION GOING

Emails create a dialogue and build meaningful user experiences. On DZone.com, users receive email notifications if someone responds to their comments. This builds an ongoing conversation between community members We have also incorporated email notifications into the AnswerHub solution. Users can configure their settings to receive email notifications when someone responds to their question or a new topic of interest is published.

Many of our clients also use email to create engagement. For example, Hybris sends out regular emails highlighting community health and stats, including the number of questions asked and the top users with the most reputation points. This creates a level of transparency among community members and encourages them to participate more frequently.

Creating community engagement isn’t always easy, but email can help organizations overcome this challenge. Email enables companies to cater messaging to the specific interests of their audience. This allows them to deliver a more valuable user experience can result in higher quality engagement. Email also keeps communities top of mind and motivates members to participate on a regular basis.

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

BBM for iPhone Review

BBM for iPhone

Probably the best thing for all users who wished to switch platforms, but the BBM friends list held them back. BBM is a great IM client for all iPhone users irrespective of whether they’ve used it before or not.

BBM FOR IPHONE RATING 90100

Our Verdict

Not a revolutionary messenger app by any means, but in an ecosystem filled with messenger clients, it comes across as one of the slickest options. This probably is the best thing that could happen to all users who wished to switch platforms, but the BBM friends list held them back. Equally, the friendships can be rekindled with those who stayed back, while you moved on to an Android smartphone or an iPhone. Initial issues remain, but the BBM client on the iPhone is very similar to what we saw on the BlackBerry Z10 – which means functionality and usability will be a breeze. You cannot download BBM right now on iOS and Android due to various issues, but the moment it becomes available again, we would urge you to give it a shot.

PROS

  • Slick interface
  • Messenger is no longer restricted to a BlackBerry smartphone
  • Message delivery over 3G is a tad quicker than on Whatsapp and iMessage
  • Feature set at par with Whatsapp

CONS

  • Stock iOS keyboard behaves differently when auto-correcting
  • Needs voice & video calls to get an advantage over rivals

BBM for iPhone: Detailed Review

The skeptics have said that the multi-platform version of the BlackBerry Messenger is arriving too late. However, the fact that 1.1 million Android users were ready and waiting, and in fact lapped up the leaked .apk that led to the series of unfortunate events, proved the “experts” wrong. In mobile ecosystems so full of IM clients anyway, the fact that BBM is getting so much attention on iOS and Android just proves – more is better! In this write-up, we specifically look at the iOS version of the BlackBerry Messenger.

Setting it up
While the going was good, I managed to download the BBM from the Apple App Store. Before this, I was using BBM on a BlackBerry 10 smartphone, and already had a BB ID and password ready, with an active BBM account. Post download and install, all I needed to do was sign-in with the same ID and password. The prompt informed me that the ID was already linked to another phone. The options available here were – Cancel (and register / sign in with another ID) or continue with the Switch BBM option from the existing device to the new device, the iPhone in this case. I selected the latter, and the sign in process took exactly a minute. All existing contacts were shifted over without any hassle, which is rather neat.

If you need to invite more people to try out BBM, you can do so via email and SMS, and more users can be added to your friend list by either punching in their messenger PIN or by scanning the barcode.

The User Interface
For anyone who hasn’t experienced BlackBerry 10 as an OS, or used BBM on it, this UI is something that you need to get used to. While it looks fairly standard for the most part, the side swipes throughout the app add a different realm of access and functionality. A tab on the bottom of the screen lets you navigate between chats, contacts and groups. Your BBM profiles can be accessed via the bar on the top of the screen, where the profile picture and the status update sit.

  

Throughout the app more options can be accessed from the left and right-hand side menus, that can be pulled out and pushed away. These offer fairly basic options at the moment, but with voice and video calls as well as screen sharing on the way, these options should show up here soon enough.

The app has enough visual elements to keep you interested, with the mix of black, sky blue and white contrasting well. The contacts list can either be a list with small contact images, or thumbnails with the highlight being the images your contacts have set as profile pictures. There’s no quick toggle to change this, and you need to go into the full settings menu to change that.

Chats – Individual and group
The text based chat experience is exactly as you would expect – same method of starting a chat, and individual chat windows for each contact. The on-screen keyboard on the iPhone is the conventional keyboard seen across all apps, including iMessage. The options bar above the keyboard and below the chat window offer stuff like adding more contacts to a particular chat, attaching a photo or a voice note and using the send key there rather than the one on the keyboard.

Like almost every other messenger app, BBM also offers the group chat option. Incidentally, the only way to add people to the group is via their PIN or barcode, but not by an invite via email or SMS. The groups I had on BBM on the BlackBerry smartphone were carried forward as is, but you need to manually reactivate your presence on each group on the new device.

There’s no video or voice call support at the moment, but that is slated to arrive in a future update. Message delivery, inside a chat, is almost realtime. BBM for iPhone utilizes the background data option, which Whatsapp cannot, for example.

Yes, the most important question – what about them smileys? Yes, they are very much there, just like on BBM as ever. Facebook Messenger users would probably miss the stickers option.

  

While the on-screen keyboard within BBM is the stock iOS one, there is a major behavioral difference. If the auto spell-check corrects a word, you need to tap the space key twice to get the desired result and proceed to typing another word. This is somewhat reminiscent of the BB10 keyboard, but fairly disconcerting for iPhone users. Maybe an update can solve this, and maybe also bring the word recommendations from BB10’s keyboard.

Download or not?
Absolutely, download the moment BBM reemerges on the Apple App Store (and the Google Play Store, depending on the device). Among the dozens of instant messaging apps, BBM does retain its sophistication, and offers one of the most non-intrusive chat experiences. On my phone, BBM, at the moment, sits side by side with Whatsapp. Let’s see if one can replace the other, or both can exist side by side.

 

[Source:- Digit]