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BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 Features – Why You Should Upgrade!

bbm5_release2 BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 was officially released last night prompting practically everybody who found out to upgrade. It was first only found in the App World but shortly thereafter we found the direct download link at While many people may be happy with their current version of BlackBerry Messenger I thought I would highlight a few reasons why you should upgrade. The upgrade is a whopping 2.8 megabytes but it is well worth it. Sadly some of the coolest features are for OS 5.0+ only but hopefully we will all get that upgrade soon! The software also requires OS 4.5+ according to RIM so you need to upgrade if you are running anything older.

NOTE: PLEASE backup your phone using Desktop Manager before you upgrade! We have been hearing a few reports about people’s devices not upgrading correctly and would hate for you to lose your information.

bbm5_release Enhanced Group and group chat

  • I am not sure if this is a replacement for the BlackBerry Groups app that has yet to be replaced but it is awesome! Groups is really a collaborative chat room for you and your BlackBerry buddies. You can view group members, share pictures with included voice notes, share task lists, and even have a group calendar. It works quite well but I have been hearing some reports that it might be a battery drain… Let us know!

Enhanced threaded SMS

  • This cool new feature requires OS 5.0 but lets you have threaded chat like SMS conversations. There are quite a few restrictions on this that I am not too happy about but it is still really cool. As RIM details in this article: “SMS messages will only appear in BlackBerry Messenger if the user added to BlackBerry Messenger and the SMS conversation is started in BlackBerry Messenger”

Contact Backup and Restore

  • This feature was a long time coming from RIM and did not work well on the leaked beta in my experience. It looks like RIM has truly revamped it allowing you to do both remote and local backups of your contact lists. The remote backup associates your contact list with your email address and stores it on RIM’s servers. The local backup stores it to local memory such as the SD card. No longer will we have to lose our contact lists!

Avatars & enhanced contact display

  • With BBM 5.0 RIM has placed a focus on your identity. You will now be able to set an avatar and allow BBM to show your contacts Avatars and associate them with your phone book. This is a really cool way to get picture ID in your phone book. The Avatars are actually pretty high quality and you can zoom in on them.

Large Media File Transfer

  • This is the other OS 5.0+ required feature that lets you send up to 6 megabytes of pictures, files, and audio at a time. Maybe we can turn BBM into a BlackBerry file sharing app… You can always send you favorite song for a friend to check out.

There are quite a few more hidden options like adding users via Barcode or even joining a group via barcode. You can add me to your BBM using the barcode below to get an idea of how it works:


So what is your favorite feature?

42 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. My favorite feature is? Everything! Wtg RIM! 🙂

  2. I’m really feeling this upgrade.

  3. the website is

  4. Installed via App World.
    My 9530 with is fine.
    My 9630 with blew up and failed to boot.

    • I’m having the same issue with my 9630. I am able to get it to reload the software and 3rd party apps but somewhere in there is something that still is causing the download of the new messenger to brick my phone. If it fails again I’m wiping it and starting from scratch with no 3rd party apps.

      • I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I went ahead and took this opportunity to wipe my Tour and install After doing so, and restoring my 3rd party apps, I did the install via the link above (rather than App World) and so far it is working fine as far as I can tell.

        Using BBSAK 1.5, even though my 9630 was “bricked” and wouldn’t boot, I was still able to connect to the device and backup all my 3rd party apps. Then I used BBSAK to wipe the device and install the new OS. The I used Desktop Manager to reinstall my 3rd party apps.

        I just got a replacement 9530 from Verizon today (my 6th, phone button jest “fell off” my 5th), so I’ll be trying the upgrade once more once #6 is activated.

  5. The BBM 5.0 rocks! I just had one question. I had a shortcut set for BBM with QuickLaunch (The awesome app everyone must have!!!) Some how when I select BBM from the Quick Launch Menu…it opens up the messenger successfully, but I am not able to chat/change options or do anything!!!! Vice-Versa when I just use the App Switcher to select BBM which is always running in background…it works fine…

    But interesting thing to note here qith QuickLaunch shortcut is that after I had Selected BBM from QuickLaunch shortcut menu and if I go back and select the BBM from the AppSwitcher…it fails to let me chat or change anything and BBM screen becomes Washed out white….

    ANy one facing that issue?? All works ok with BBM 5 if I don’t start BBM via QucikLaunch at all.

    Weird…may be QL needs a version update…like BerryBuzz just recently updated to .35 version to support OS 5.0 and BBM 5.0

    Any inputs thoughts? Please help!


  6. I reaaly like the upgrade and several new features are nice.
    My favorite new feature is the extended set of emoticons.
    Still hoping for custom emoticons in the future.
    Also, while the custom status feature is great it would be helpful for each one to have a unique status message. Also, some manner of automated status change would be swift.

    Still, loving the new messenger!

  7. I love many new features on BBM5 but there is also a drawback on sending/receiving Voice Note.

    Voice Note feature become more complicated to use,
    When I press “Send Voice Note” it prompt me again to “Start” or “Cancel”.
    What are they thinking???

    And I need also need to “Accept” Voice Note from others before playback !!!
    Why someone sending you a Voice Note and I don’t want to hear their voice note?

    They should add auto-accept feature onto the software.

  8. Do not install this. It will possibly brick your phone. Even with a backup, you will still spend hours trying to reimage/wipe the device to even begin to get it functioning again. It’s junk.

  9. Before I download this to my Tour 9630/ (since it seems other Tour users are among those ending up with “bricked” phones) did those of you that have it working fine download it from the blackberry site and those with issues get it via App World, or vice versa? ( i.e. is there a common thread?)

    • I can only speak from my personal experience, but:
      9630 running Verizon official, I installed BBM5 via App World. I received 1 prompt to replace existing with new version, which I accepted. On reboot after installing my phone was bricked.
      9630 running leak, I installed BBM5 via direct download from I received the same prompt to replace existing with new, however additionally during the download I was also prompted twice that new modules were downloading and was required to approve them to replace existing modules.

      I did >NOTNOT< receive those module replacement prompts on my Storm running downloading via App World, though that install was successful.

      • I have upgraded my 9630 Tour(carrier=Verizon) from to I upgraded OS via the Loader.exe method. BBM5 survived through the upgrade process and is still working flawlessly.

  10. The only thing I dislike on the BBM 5.0 is that when you send an image you can not view it, you have to download it.
    Other than that BBM 5.0 is awesome!

    • Yeah I feel the same about this. I don’t like that I have to save it to my phone to view it. The old way was much better, since you could pick and choose which sent images you wanted to save.

  11. I have maybe spoke to soon. I have notice my browser not working right on my 9630 Tour. What is weird if you try to goto on my Tour it doesn’t show google app search. Has any having the same problem. Because before the upgrade google release the new version for the tour. So now I’m unistalling DM 5.0 and installing it again. Then backup my phone and do a wipe. Then installed my os and the new bbm. Hoping everything will go back to norm.

    • Hey automan, working perfectly fine on my Tour. I did just do a full wipe and install of before installing BBM 5.0.

      • Thanks davidB I did what I posted above and all is working fine for me too. I love the way BBM restores your contacts from RIM site. That’s COOL. It was a long time doing this steps, but I,m glad I did it.

  12. On my Tour have the official OS .140 and the install worked well. Hit download in app world, and just sat the phone down. About 5 people at work did the same, no issues. Maybe a common third paty app is causing the crash. I have about 15 installed, and I had the leaked version.

    Now I do want to put OS on my tour. Is the new BBM working with it?

  13. want to download but scare to death…couple months ago bbm went missing after sucessfully download the leaked version…i’m curve 8320 user version, i know RIM said user with v.4.5.0 above can download, but any successful people that download with the same spex? thanks

    • I installed it onto my wife’s 8320 last night with OS 4.5. No problem. I have found from myself (8900) and from reading other’s posts is that if you use the direct URL you should be ok. People downloading via App World are the ones having the issues.

  14. i downloaded it. had no problems. now i can no longer find my bbm ap on my phone. i went back to app world and they gave me the option to “Run” the app and i click on it and it locks the phone up… anyone no what to do? i have the 8900….. please help

  15. @Randy, I would uninstall it (either with App World or on device itself) and try installing from the link above.

    You could also try restoring theme defaults and the icon might reappear, but if its locking up your device the install failed somehow.

  16. Works great on my Bold and on my wife’s 8800. It looks slicker and love the avatar ability.

  17. One problem which i am facing in the new messenger is that when someone sends me an image, I accept and the transfer bar comes, but thereafter the transfer gets stuck or is very slow…is anyone have same problems or does someone have a fix for this…please reply, thanks.

    • OMG! I am having the same issue with the 5.0 upgrade, but my pictures dont save or upload at all and leave and empty space in my picture folder. I have a couple of my contacts say the same when I send them pictures thru messngr. I have the Curve…can anyone help????

      • Hi, I have the same problem with my bold….Can anyone help.
        I can’t receive any photos.


        • I wonder if there’s something in common you folks having picture problems? Like carrier, or GSM, or install method, or ???

          I’m able to send and receive pictures with both my Tour and my Storm and to/from BBM5 and folks with BBM4 still.

          • I am having the same issue with the pictures.

            What angers me more is that the pics are sent at full resolution and therefore chewing up more of my data plan. I liked the basic image that was quick and easy.

            I like the 5.0 but is it easy to uninstall?

            I like the picture messaging at a low and fast resolution without having to go into my camera and change the setting back and forth.


        • Same problem with my 8900. I can no longer send pictures. They get stuck. I could send before, but now I don’t know why they are unable to send.

  18. I like the extended emoctions feature but I don’t like the look of them.

  19. i encounter problem to receive image. when receive image, we have to accept and download. its annoying compare to the old version

  20. @bbm5: we are enjoying group chat but having a small problem. the digital time display on the chat panel stopped, or running but wrong time. we try so many ways to overcome this but failed. anyone having similar problem? knows how to fix it?
    thanks all ..

  21. @ku: correct .. and tx. actually even one member in the group having different timezone it effects to the group setting whenever he/she posts to the group. what we did was readjust all members’ time setting. a bit stupid to do but it solved the problem 😉

    another one comes up: we are heavily using group chatting but when anybody in the group does the “clear chat”, other people get the same effect randomly (cleared screen) .. means “clear chat” doesn’t limited on own screen? anybody having similar problem?

  22. Since i upgraded i lost the option in the menu to send file to messenger contacts. I can only send to email, mms or upload to facebook. previously i could send a file from the messenger or from the file folder or from the camera. Now that option is no longer in the menu.

    Any ideas why?

    • I just checked and I too no longer habe the “Messenger Contact” option as a destination for sending. But only under OS 5. I have BLACKBERRY MESSENGER on both my Tour and my Storm. On the Storm the option is gone but still ther on my Tour. So it is something between .56 BlackBerry Messenger and OS 5. Earlier BlackBerry Messenger 5’s didn’t have this flaw.

      From my BlackBerry Tour…

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