BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has just made an announcement that many have been anticipating for years – the official release of BlackBerry Messenger for iOS and Android! As revealed at the BlackBerry Live conference this morning, BBM is set to launch on both platforms this summer, and finally brings the best of BBM’s features to competing platforms.
From the press release:
BlackBerry(R) today announced plans to make its ground-breaking mobile social network, BlackBerry(R) Messenger (BBM(TM)), available to iOS(R) and Android(TM) users this summer, with support planned for iOS6, and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher, all subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play. BBM sets the standard for mobile instant messaging with a fast, reliable, engaging experience that includes delivered and read statuses, and personalized profiles and avatars. Upon release, BBM customers would be able to broaden their connections to include friends, family and colleagues on other mobile platforms.
In the planned initial release, iOS and Android users would be able to experience the immediacy of BBM chats, including multi-person chats, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people.
“For BlackBerry, messaging and collaboration are inseparable from the mobile experience, and the time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service. BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We’re excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community,” said Andrew Bocking, Executive Vice President, Software Product Management and Ecosystem, at BlackBerry.
Only the messaging and group features will be available on iOS and Android at first (as noted on the official BlackBerry blog), but additional features, such as BBM Voice, screen sharing, video capabilities, and BBM channels are expected to roll out throughout the year. I’ll be excited to try this out when it finally launches! No specific release date has been given – so keep your eyes open over the next month or two for more info!