BlackBerry Messenger has proven to be very popular on non-BlackBerry hardware, with Android and iOS users downloading it in droves. Now it looks like the company has made some of the latest and greatest features of the service available in the Android version of the messaging app. The latest BlackBerry Messenger Beta for Android features BBM Channels and free calling through BBM Voice Chat!
BBM has certainly rung in the new year well, and fans of BBM are sure to be excited about the new features. BBM Channels and BBM Voice Chat are features that came with BlackBerry OS 10 but given the current state of the Canadian smartphone giant, it’s probably wise that the best features are being brought over to other platforms.
BBM Channels is a service that allows you to follow the people, groups, interests etc. that you care about and comment or like posts. It’s a little bit of Facebook in your BBM. It was originally only available to BBM users on a BlackBerry device but this marks its inclusion in the Android App.
BBM Voice Chat is probably the biggest deal. Once again, it was rolled out as a BlackBerry exclusive even after BBM came to other platforms. Like Skype or other VoIP services, BBM Voice Chat lets you make free calls to other BBM users (assuming they’re using a supported device) using WiFi or mobile data. This is likely to be a very popular feature.
The new features are available for the Beta version of BBM for Android. You’ll need to head over to the BlackBerry Beta Zone to sign up to be a Beta tester. There’s no word yet on when the new features will make their way to the official version of the Android app, or to iOS devices. It’s likely Voice Chat and BBM Channels will be available on all platforms soon.