Join promises to “Bring your devices together”. Does it deliver on this promise?
Earlier today, an app was shared to me as a potential android replacement for Blend. The app is Join by joaoapps which promises to “Bring your devices together”. After testing the app for a while, I can say that yes, it does deliver on the promise, but no, it is no replacement for BlackBerry Blend.
As we can see in the video below, Join brings some great abilities, allowing you control of your android phone from your desktop, tablet, or even another mobile phone.
While the file management and clipboard sharing are extremely nice features, Join suffers the same deficiencies of Pushbullet. That deficiency is communication. I am used to BlackBerry Blend, that places communication first. With BlackBerry Blend, I can work my email, BBM, and SMS just as I can on my phone. Unfortunately, Join cannot do that.
It actually does an astounding job of SMS, I’d say much better than Pushbullet. That’s great for people that use SMS texting, which is not something I do often.
For BBM, you can get your messages, and reply to them. The issue is that it does not show the whole conversation as it does with SMS texts, instead just showing the last message. Also, if you’re in a group chat, it does not show who actually said what you’re reading. As someone who primarily uses BBM, this makes Join useless to me.
Finally, email. You will receive a notification, and a portion of the email. If you then attempt to reply to the email, you can’t. Instead, what it does is open the email on your phone. It’s kind of neat to watch, but again, it makes the app useless to me.
I must admit, I’m not really looking for a Blend replacement. I understand Blend is no longer supported, but it still works, and so far, works better than anything else out there. And here’s a little trick for those that like me, have moved on to BlackBerry Android as their primary device, and wish to keep using Blend. The trick is, you can still use your old BB10 phones as a “Blend machine” even if there is no service on the phone. Simply set up your email accounts, a second BBM ID, and you’re set to go. I still prefer using Blend to work my email over any PC app or webmail, and for now, I still can.
If you’d like to try Join, it can be found on the Google Play Store. It is a free trial for the first month, and then a one time $4.99 fee to keep using the app.