BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) is a popular instant messaging tool which originated on BlackBerry devices, but is now also available on Android and iOS.

BBM keeps life simple, not least because it's "always on", always connected. You don't have to open an app to chat, it's always available to send or receive messages.

There's plenty of depth to the service, too. You can create your own profile, perhaps set or update your status. You might send text (with a host of emoticons), photos, files, documents and more. And you can have one-to-one chats, or broadcast messages to a whole group.

Once a message has been despatched, you'll see right away when it's been delivered or read, even when a contact is responding. It's all very interactive.

While this might sound like it presents privacy issues, that's really not the case. BBM uses its own PIN system to identify users, rather than email addresses. And both you, and each of your contacts needs to opt in to the system, so you always keep full control over who can message you.

Please note, to avoid getting overwhelmed by demand, BBM asks for an email address on its first launch, and you'll have to wait for an email before you can use the app. They're allowing millions on at a time so this shouldn't take long, but the official Twitter site has more.

What's new in 1.0.4?

- Support for iPod and iPad
- Invite BBM contacts to BBM Groups by Email
- 'Tell your friends’ feature helps you connect with friends on BBM
- Quickly share your BBM PIN and PIN barcode to your social networks
- Fixes an issue where some users would be missing BBM Contact names
- Resolves some issues experienced in right to left language support
- Bug fixes and performance improvements

Verdict ratingsratingsratingsratingsratings

An attractive, easy-to-use messaging app with plenty of useful features