BlackBerry might have put itself up for sale, but the company is still fighting to stay relevant. The company announced that the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service would be coming to Android and iOS in the summer, and now the dates have been revealed.
The Android version will hit the Play Store for smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean on Saturday, September 21, at 7PM EDT. The Android app will be free and it’s unclear whether it will work on tablets.
The iOS version will hit the App Store for iPhones running iOS 6 and iOS 7 from 12:01 am local time in each market on Sunday, September 22. BlackBerry hasn’t said whether this will be free, nor has it confirmed whether it works on other iOS devices.
BlackBerry claims that the BBM platform currently has 60 million users, the majority of which use it for an average of 90 minutes per day, collectively sending and receiving more than 10 billion messages.
As with BlackBerry phones, BBM for Android and iOS will require a unique PIN that you can share with friends to add them to your network. It features chat, file sharing (photos and voice notes), and group chats where you can invite up to 30 people. Much like a social network, you can set a profile picture, personal message, status message and send out a broadcast message to all your contacts.
Currently, BBM Video Calling and BBM Voice Calling are not supported for Android and iOS, but are planned to be integrated in future updates.
Later this year, the company will also roll out BBM Channels, a platform of real-time forums for people, brands, celebrities, artists, service providers, communities and more.
Will you be getting BBM for your Android or iPhone? What are the features that draw you to it? Will it make you switch from IM solutions like WhatsApp or are you happy to ignore it?