BlackBerry devices use the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger, also known as BBM, software for sending and receiving encrypted instant messages, voice notes, images and videos via BlackBerry PIN. Some of the features of BBM include groups, bar-code scanning, lists, shared calendars, BBM Music and integration with apps and games using the BBM social platform.
Third-party software available for use on BlackBerry devices includes full-featured database management systems, which can be used to support customer relationship management clients and other applications that must manage large volumes of potentially complex data.
In March 2011, RIM announced an optional Android player that could play applications developed for the android system would be available for the BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM’s first entry in the tablet market.
On August 24, 2011 Bloomberg News reported unofficial rumors that BlackBerry devices would be able to run Android applications when RIM brings QNX and the Android App Player to BlackBerry. On October 20, 2011 RIM officially announced that Android applications could run, unmodified, on the BlackBerry tablet and the newest BlackBerry phones, using the newest version of its operating system.
BlackBerry Internet Service
The primary alternative to using BlackBerry Enterprise Server is to use the BlackBerry Internet Service. BlackBerry Internet Service, or BIS is available in 91 countries internationally. BlackBerry Internet Service was developed primarily for the average consumer rather than for the business consumer. BlackBerry Internet Service allows POP3 and IMAP email integration for an individual personal user. However, the integration features only one-way synchronization; changes to messages on the device are not reflected back to the email server. BlackBerry Internet Service allows up to 10 email accounts to be accessed, including many popular email accounts such as Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL. BlackBerry Internet Service also allows for the function of the push capabilities in various other BlackBerry Applications. Various applications developed by RIM for BlackBerry utilize the push capabilities of BIS, such as the Instant Messaging clients, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo Messenger. Social Networks Facebook, Myspace and Twitter’s notification system is accessed through BIS, allowing for push notifications for them.