BlackBerry Is Gearing Up to Enter the Sizzling Smartwatch Scene
“OK, Google. Check my BBM messages.” Good news for people who own smartwatches that run on Android Wear and use BBM on their smartphones: You’ll soon be able to track and respond to BlackBerry Messenger notifications right from your wrist.
The struggling Canadian smartphone pioneer broke the news of the coming tool for “discreet messaging from your wrist” yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show and on its official blog. The announcements come a year and a half after BlackBerry unveiled its initial plans to bring the popular branded instant messaging app to Android and iOS devices.
Launched last March, Android Wear is Google’s mobile operating system for smartwatches and other wearables, among them the LG G Watch, the Motorola Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live. The OS connects compatible paired smartphones and smartwatches to each other. BlackBerry says BBM for Android Wear will work with “a wide variety” of these smartwatches, though a complete list is not yet available.
The app will enable users to quickly accept or ignore BBM invites and send “canned” replies to messages on the sly, ideal for when users are too busy to BBM message by smartphone, like when they’re in a meeting or in class (“Got it,” “I’m busy right now. Will reply when I can,” etc.). The simple, slick BBM for Android Wear will also let users quickly respond to messages hands-free via Google Voice, a voice-to-text tool that unfortunately doesn’t always translate properly.
BlackBerry isn’t saying exactly when its inaugural smartwatch app will land on Android Wear-ers’ wrists, only that it will be available sometime early this year. At first glance, it looks like it’s worth the wait.
Take a peek at the app in action below, care of Android Central.