Research In Motion today launched BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) version 7, a free update for the globally popular mobile social network. A key new feature of the update will allow customers to make free voice calls to their BBM contacts around the world over a Wi-Fi connection.
The feature is a fast, convenient and inexpensive way to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues.
The Beta version of BBM 7 with the new BBM Voice feature was made available to the public through BlackBerry Beta Zone on November 14, 2012. Beta testers were excited and pleased with the update, generating comments such as: “The voice feature is easy to use and the audio quality is excellent.”
When RIM surveyed customers who downloaded the Beta, over 80% of testers said that they were likely to recommend BBM version 7. In the same survey, 90% of testers said that they would use BBM Voice while travelling to keep in touch.
T.A. McCann, Vice President of BBM and Social Communities at RIM said “BBM began as a convenient and effective business messaging tool, and today it is an essential part of daily communications for customers around the world. Now, with BBM version 7, customers have a new option: they can text and talk with their BBM contacts near and far, for free. With the integrated experience, we extend the core features of reliable, real-time engagement to include voice calling and take BBM to the next level.”
Also new in BBM 7 with BBM Voice is multi-tasking with split-screen feature so customers can do more while they talk, such as check other BBM text chats, check email, or navigate to other apps while engaged on a BBM Voice call. They can start a call in an instant, and switch between texting and talking, or text and talk at the same time. They can also for example, send a picture to a contact while they are talking with them.
RIM is also implementing a Simple BlackBerry ID Synchronisation meaning a customer’s BBM profile, Groups and Contacts are now linked to their BBID for easy backup and restore. The data will also carry over when they move to BlackBerry 10.
BBM 7 with BBM Voice is now available for all BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 6 OS or higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS early next year.