For many, 2013 wasn’t the best year for technology. Apple didn’t make any huge splashes, Blackberry continued to die, and wearables weren’t all that exciting. News of the N.S.A.’s spying also rocked everything from cloud services to mobile phones. In all the iterative changes and interesting products, I felt there was one single standout; and it comes from a company that’s headed in the wrong direction. That standout product was the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) on iOS and Android.
I had long hoped for a messaging tool that might unify many of the top mobile platforms, and yet years this didn’t happen. Those of us stuck switching between iMessage, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and other tools knew there had to be a better way to do this (and to reach Blackberry users). Once BBM was finally released after major launch issues, the tool was serviceable and useful. For something that should have been created years ago, the fact that it worked for the millions that installed it, was a big win for Blackberry. If Blackberry can get this on all mobile platforms and improve on the features; The messaging space will find its clear unified winner. For that reason, BBM is my 2013 product of the year.