BlackBerry is launching Android and Apple iOS apps for its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service this summer. It means that free BBM instant messaging will no longer be exclusively available on BlackBerry handsets but will also work across other platforms.
Not all BBM features will be available on the apps; the first release won’t include VoIP calls or screen sharing but will offer person-to-person and multi-person BBM chats, along with photo and voice note sharing.
More than 60 million people use BBM every month, sending and receiving more than 10 billion messages each day.
In addition, BlackBerry has announced its third smartphone running on the BlackBerry 10 platform. The BlackBerry Q5 is described as ‘youthful and fun’. It’ll be available from July in black, white, pink or red and has a QWERTY keyboard plus a 3.1-inch touchscreen.
Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, said “BlackBerry is excited to bring a new BlackBerry QWERTY smartphone, the BlackBerry Q5, to our customers in selected markets around [the] world. The BlackBerry Q5 gives you the best of everything with its cutting-edge BlackBerry 10 functionality and a physical QWERTY keyboard. It is for youthful fans that are passionate, confident and bold, and it makes it easy for them to have fun, create, share and stay connected.”