Why I uninstalled BBM right away

When BBM leaked about a month ago, I prayed that the final app wouldn’t look the way it did.

Guess what? BlackBerry released the final version of BBM on the Play Store last night, and boy, is it ugly.

This isn’t to say that it won’t be hugely successful; it likely will.  The normal, sane people won’t mind any app that is given to them: have you heard of WeChat?

Before we begin, I’d like to say that I don’t hate BlackBerry, or anything of the sort. In fact, I wanted them to succeed. More comptetion means better products for consumers.

Signing up


Apparently, there is an “incredible demand to start using BBM.” Luckily, I already submitted my email earlier, so I can cut in line. The first thing you see is the ugly gradient in the background of the app: this will be a recurring theme of BBM, so have fun trying to erase it from your mind. Also, the buttons are too short; buttons on a mobile device, should around 48 dp in height. This gives you a generous amount of space to tap away. Clearly, BB doesn’t agree.

Plus, that smiley eerily reminds me of Yahoo! Messenger. *shudders*


Now when creating an account for the first time, you’re greeted with a screen that takes the narrow, hard to touch buttons a step further. Asking me to confirm my password? On a mobile device? Why? This is a perfect example of a bad sign up experience.

That godawful gradient. Why? WHY?

That godawful gradient. Why? WHY?


Another example of inconsistency: here, the button looks to be a good size. In the previous screens, the buttons were a lot narrower.

Another example of inconsistency: here, the button looks to be a good size. In the previous screens, the buttons were a lot shorter.

On the main app screen, you see… a NON STANDARD ACTION BAR.. AT THE BOTTOM. There is a reason why action bars are not at the bottom in Android: Some phones have capacitive buttons or even touch buttons at the bottom (like the Galaxy Nexus in the screenshot) and thus, there is a risk of touching the wrong icon.

Non standard action bar. *cries*

Non standard action bar. *cries*


Back button. Just...No...

Back button.

Not only this, but Blackberry decides to use a back button, when one clearly already exists built into Android! Again, why? This whole app exudes ugliness.


Then, another inconsistency. The BBM logo is slightly rounded, while here in the app, the icon looks much more squared off. And that recurring ugly font just breaks my heart.

That is pretty much all to see in this app. The minute I opened the app, I knew it would be uninstalled.

While I understand that Blackberry wants to push it’s design language (a terrible one, at that) to users on Android and iOS so that they may feel more comfortable when transitioning to a BlackBerry device, it is still unacceptable to use another platform’s design guidelines when Android’s should be used. I just want to say, it really hurts me to see these kinds of badly developed ads from such large corporations. It’s really a shame.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Why I uninstalled BBM right away

  1. One of the best examples of an app that would be a pleasure to use if they’d design it for Android instead of copying the style of another system! I totally agree with you. I won’t be using it until they implement a proper Android layout!

  2. TrueGuidance Coke

    I was a blackberry fan before Android and was excited when bbm was announced. But I the design annoys the hell out of me. At first I wondered if it was an attempt to add uniqueness to the app but turns out the copied the xmls from bbx write into the android app…horrible.

    I am still using the app so I noticed a few other things:

    1. No margin/padding around controls. Example the display picture and the bottom of the the preference screen.

    2. No caching of image, every time I open the app the list is recreated and I can see my contacts image loaded. Gives the feeling of the app being sluggish.

    3. Poor notification implementation, opening a notification takesbyoy to the last screen the app was on instead of opening the actual notification.

    4. Poor, poor, poor image quality. Its almost impossible to have a decent display picture and it seems requesting an higher quality image if a contact is sharing an image.

    And more…..

    One thing I would point out is, androidbdoes support “bottom touch button” if you implement a split actionbar.

    Great article, I’m glad others noticed the issues Ive seen. Hope they quick this lazy mentality and redo the apobto fit the OS.

    • I wasn’t aware that they copied the code.. That makes me even more sad. I don’t know what to say.
      Anyways, to most people it doesn’t matter. Millions of users are downloading it! Maybe after the hype dies..
      That said, it’s probably the most functional messaging app.

      Great points! Thanks for commenting. I’m glad that someone else understands that it’s a terrible app.

      One question: Why are you still using it? 😛
      I’m assuming it’s because you have friends on BBM.

  3. Having this app only makes me miss my BlackBerry. I totally hate the application but can’t help but using it. The emoticons are totally lame, the ones on the original BlackBerry platform are much much better. I just don’t see this application fit in any Android UI for its lame and oldfashioned design 😦

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