US President Barack Obama has been photographed, on a number of occasions, using an iPad. He says he loves the tablet, and was actually given a second generation model days before it was announced, by Steve Jobs himself.
But it looks like that’s where Obama’s Apple gadget usage stops. During an Obamacare speech he gave yesterday to a youth audience attending a White House Summit, the President said he isn’t allowed to have an iPhone…
Here’s part of the speech via ABC News:
“Now, I am not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone. I don’t know what your bills are. I’ve noticed that Sasha and Malia seem to spend a lot of time on it. My suspicion is that, for a lot of you, between your cable bill and your phone bill, you’re spending more than $100 per month.”
While Obama’s remark was obviously meant to be a quip, it has sparked a conversation in the tech world about mobile platform security. After all, the President is allowed to use a custom version of one of BlackBerry’s handsets.
Interestingly enough, many other US government agencies have already ditched their BlackBerrys, or are in the process of doing so, in favor of Apple’s smartphone. More secure or not, the company is bleeding enterprise customers.
As for Mr. Obama, his involvement in the tech community extends much further than gadget usage. Earlier this year, he vetoed an ITC sales ban on Apple products, and he’s currently fighting (or says he is) for a new unlocking policy.
In a world filled with free communication apps like Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook (and Messenger), Google Hangouts and iMessage, BlackBerry Messenger was able to carve a serious user base for itself it just a week.
Since the BBM rollout on iOS and Android resumed 7 days ago, BBM has gathered 20 million new users.
That’s active users and not just downloads and is a serious step up from the 5 million in the opening 8 hours of up time.
BlackBerry has also announced that it has removed the waiting in line on iOS and Android and users can now activate BBM right away.
BBM is regarded as a top tier communication tool. It features a more secure way of sharing your information (not everyone that has your mobile number can see your information), as well as delivered and read statuses.
Note from the head of BBM:
Hi Android and iPhone users,
This is Andrew Bocking, head of BBM at BlackBerry. As a follow up to our first blog post on Saturday, I want to take a moment to provide you with an update on the rollout of BBM on Android and iPhone.
Last week, an unreleased, older version of the BBM for Android app was posted on numerous file sharing sites. We were aware of an issue with this unreleased version of the BBM for Android app. This older version resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways. The version we were planning to release on Saturday addressed these issues, however we could not block users of the unreleased version if we went ahead with the launch.
We attempted to address the problems caused by the unreleased version throughout the day on Saturday, but as active users of the unreleased app neared a million – and accelerated – it became clear that the only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone.
The team is now focused on adjusting the system to completely block this unreleased version of the Android app when we go live with the official BBM for Android app. We are also making sure that the system is reinforced to handle this kind of scenario in the future. While this may sound like a simple task – it’s not. This will take some time and I do not anticipate launching this week.
Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online. The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible. Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.
BBM teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and they know it will live up to your expectations of BBM. BlackBerry is pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone.
Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM. The unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visit www.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.
As soon as they are able, they will begin a staggered country roll-out of BBM for Android and continue the roll-out of BBM for iPhone.
UPDATE: The Latest @BBM Tweet: Thanks for your patience #Android users! Working hard to get you the real #BBM ASAP. We’ll let you know when it’s live. #BBM4ALL
The official bbm app isn’t available on the Play Store yet. These are all fake Apps:
BBM for Android is here! The long wait is over: you can finally get the BlackBerry Messenger app on your Android phone to chat with your long-lost BBM buddies, with the BBM iPhone app coming in a few hours.
Head over to the Google Play app store and you should be able to download BBM for Android now. Install the app and you’ll be chatting with your old BlackBerry buds before you can say “WhatsApp? What’s that?”
The BBM app for other devices lets you swap instant messages with other app users, with voice chat to come at a later stage. If you’ve defected from BlackBerry to Apple, the iOS app will be available from the Apple App Store at midnight.
BlackBerry has certainly made us wait for the instant messaging app to arrive on other phones. Sadly scammers have taken advantage of the wait to fill Google Play with fake BBM apps, targeting eager ex-BlackBerry owners with ads, spam or worse.
BlackBerry Messenger was the main reason that teens became as addicted to their BlackBerrys as the most business-minded executive, mainly because — unlike texting — it’s free. You can also write much longer messages and see when someone’s read your missive.
But with the rise of the iPhone and more affordable Android phones, the shine wore off BlackBerry devices — especially with the arrival of IM services like WhatsApp or Samsung ChatOn that work across different devices, so you can chat with friends and family even if they have different phones to you.
NOTE: The app is still rolling out and will be available in Lebanon and other countries at 12:01 am local time (Lebanon) on September 22.