BBM 2.0 for BlackBerry, Android and iOS now available - Brings channels, voice, location sharing and more

By Adam Zeis on 13 Feb 2014 09:11 am EST
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Android and iOS users finally get the goods as BBM 2.0 has arrived. Starting later today, BlackBerry, iPhone and Android users will be able to download an updated BBM that includes BBM Channels, BBM Voice, local sharing with Glympse, Dropbox integration and much more. The update will bring things up to speed with the native BBM app on BlackBerry and make for some happy cross-platform users.

We'll have plenty more on this one soon so stay tuned — in the meantime, check out the full press release below.

Press Release
 
BBM Voice and BBM Channels Now Available for Android and iPhone Customers

New features also include simple file and photo sharing, location sharing, over 100 new emoticons and Dropbox integration for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry Smartphones

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - February 13, 2014) - A new version of BBM™ will be available later today for Android™, iPhone and BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB) customers, giving them lots of exciting new features. Android and iPhone customers will now be able to make free voice calls to BBM contacts over a Wi-Fi® or data connection with BBM Voice(i), as well as access BBM Channels. In addition, BBM customers on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry(ii) smartphones will have more to chat about with fast one-click sharing of photos, documents, voice notes and more. BBM customers will also be able to share their live location for a specified amount of time with other BBM contacts by using location sharing, powered by Glympse, and will have 100 new emoticons available to help them say what's on their mind.

"BBM continues to deliver new functionality as a premier messaging platform that provides a simple and effective way to stay connected. Today's announcement gives Android and iPhone customers the rich experience of BBM Voice and BBM Channels - two great ways to connect with friends, family and colleagues, to build out communities around shared interests, and to follow your favorite people and brands," said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Solutions at BlackBerry. "BBM continues to quickly evolve as a social mobile platform for consumers as well as for business customers through innovative features that give you great new ways to connect and share with each other."

BBM Channels

BBM Channels lets customers chat with other BBM users about topics that interest them. Customers can join channels about a range of topics from products, hobbies and sports to entertainment, fashion, cars and more. Channels can be created by brands, businesses and BBM customers alike and are a great way to communicate directly and immediately with people who share common interests in the broader BBM community.

By posting to their channel, channel owners immediately reach their subscribers with a message that can spark discussions. "Scheduled chat hours" allow BBM customers to have live chats with the channel owner - a great way to engage directly with their favorite channels one on one.

BBM Channels maintains the BBM core values of immediacy, privacy and control. Because BBM Channels live right inside BBM, BBM customers get notified the moment one of the channels they follow has a new post, or when someone responds to their comments.

With BBM Channels, customers can engage with brands or other customers without having to add them to their contact lists, thereby maintaining a high level of privacy. With BBM Channels, customers have the discretion to opt in only to channel brands that are relevant to them and always have control over the channels they subscribe to, while channel owners have control over how subscribers interact with their channel.

For brands and businesses, BBM Channels provides a new way to interact and connect with a highly engaged and targeted mobile audience. There are thousands of brands already using BBM Channels to engage with their customers. More on BBM Channels:

  • Open, yet private. Channel owners control the conversation on their channels. Channel owners can choose to: allow subscribers to comment on posts freely or to approve them first; let subscribers chat with them directly anytime, or set chat hours; they can interact with subscribers without ever giving out personal details, or adding them as a personal BBM Contact. And with private channels, channel owners can keep in touch with closer circles on an invite-only basis.
  • Channel reporting. Each channel has its own performance dashboard built right in. Channel owners can see stats on how subscribers are engaging with their channel, how many people have viewed each post and how the subscriber base is growing.
  • It's fast and easy. Start a channel right from a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android smartphone. It only takes a few minutes to set up a BBM Channel and once it is set up, posting to it is as simple as choosing a photo and adding a short message

Location Sharing

With location sharing powered by Glympse, customers can now share their real-time location with one or several BBM contacts for a specified amount of time - perfect for when people are running late, out with friends and more. BBM puts control in the customers' hands, allowing them to specify how long they want to share their location for, by setting a timer. When the timer runs out the customers' location becomes private again.

Dropbox Support

Built-in support for Dropbox™ makes it easy to send large files like presentations and videos. With Dropbox built in to BBM, you can send a file from your personal cloud directly to a BBM contact. On the receiving end, you can save the file directly to your smartphone or add it to your Dropbox account.

Emoticons

BBM customers have been asking for more emoticons, and now more than 100 new emoticons have been added to help you express yourself. Many of the new emoticons came from ideas submitted by customers!

BBM continues to connect friends, family and colleagues across a myriad of mobile networks, as the standard for mobile instant messaging with a fast, reliable, and engaging experience that puts control of privacy and personal information back in the customers' hands.

Reader comments

BBM 2.0 for BlackBerry, Android and iOS now available - Brings channels, voice, location sharing and more

582 Comments

Adam, is there a way of knowing upto date figures how many Apple & Android users have downloaded BBM?

BlackBerry should follow up with the figures on the back of the BBM update release.

Catapulted from my Z10.

@TBone4eva...March 28,I hope it won't be another Black Friday,I'll settle for a gray day this time, and will be hoping the sun comes out at the end of the summer.Next year BB should come around and be profitable.I really expect Certicom to make some news soon.

It will be bad again....very bad. It's going to take time, currently little carrier support. Unless they have their expenses clawed right back, but i doubt it.

Posted via CB10

@Playbook007...1 expense going out the door is 600 million for the payments they have to make on royalties.I read that somewhere,500 million for the real estate they sold.I don't think it will be that bad,thier cash is stabalizing.

Great finally BBM Voice and Drop Box support for sending videos and larger files!!!! Can't wait for BBM Video (cross platform)

BBM video is already available on BlackBerry10 so I suggest if you're that impatient please pick up a z30 today.. lol.

Posted via CB10

I agree. It's a phone that does almost everything. Mowing the lawn and clearing the snow out of the driveway would be good additions to its repertoire.

Can I get an app for that?

I think there is still a huge gap... LOL

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Nah man Skype's been available on Linux and the other personal computer OSs since forever, AND it's available on BlackBerries and non-BlackBerries alike in the mobile world. Not even close to pushing it. Salt'n'Peppa can push it.

In the grand scheme of things, how many Linux desktop users are there relative to Windows and Mac? And of those that are, how many are unable to run a Windows instance on their machine.

Spot on!! Dates back to when that bum Alex Kinsella was in Vegas talking about BBM 2.0 and basically says that there isn't enough demand for Windows Phone BBM app. Had me shaking my head because here they are trying to get developers on board, but yet they give the same excuse that developers give them. They should have made a Windows Phone app from the start just to make a statement that they aren't going to play that "user base" game. I can't stand that bum!

Maybe for Linux, but there were definitely BBM Channels desktop versions included in the beta at one point, I know I didn't dream it. What the hell happened with that? Oh yeah, the project manager who they just fired...

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

Definitely need BBM on the desktop. Preferably through the browser so you don't have to worry about compatibility. They get that, then they can compete in the enterprise for sure with BBM.

About time indeed!

Better late than never ... not when it was promised for end of 2013 (BBM Video/ScreenSharing for iOS/Android) ... that sends a REALLY bad message not only to those on these platforms but to us ... I see this as too many layoffs are affecting productivity and time to market for BlackBerry. BB10.2.1 just got released so of course that had priority and was much needed before BBM2.0/3.0 but you can see just how the layoffs is affecting BlackBerry.

They never promised video, voice,glympse, etc by the end of 2013. That is nonsense. They have committed to a staged rollout and everyone knows this.

Posted via CB10

Let's make everyone feel welcome first. Then takeover finally, Game of Thrones Style.

The shirt addict blueprint | BBM channel = C00122EC9

Just to clarify for everyone, thats BBM 10.3 update (which should be today). Not OS 10.3. :)

10.3 update? You sure about that? You mean BlackBerry people have to wait even though it is in beta testing?

I hope that you are wrong and that it is coming before 10.3 drops!

Posted via Me on my Z from CrackBerry

BBM 10.3 NOT BB10.3 ;)
App not OS

...though to be honest I expected BBM 10.3 to drop B4 BBM 2.0 even if only the day B4.....

I'm actually glad that they're all dropping together...or at least on the same day. It speaks to the intentions of Mr. Chen.

On further reflection I think they have to release at the same time anyway because they increased the size of the Groups. You can't have some people's phones allowing 50 members & other's only 30.

^ stop sucking the nutsack ... this has nothing directly to do with Mr. Chen ... this was promised back in October and was already in motion. The delay from promised Christmas 2013 until today does show intentions of Mr Chen or just the development team focusing on BB10.2.1 first before BBM3.0 for BB10 devices, BBM2.0 for ALL.

Your words actually don't make sense grammatically. It would have been either him or one of the guys that he brought in that would have made sure the team got things done on time to have a consolidated release.

You don't seem to understand how business works.

Mmm...CB10! Just the tip though...

From my interpretation of the press release, it seems BB users will get it sooner than the coming OS update.
EDIT: Lol!! OK , I thought you meant the BB 10.3 OS update.

I have BBM beta on my Z10 and have been using the sharing location feature, Glimpse, for the last two months, it's amazing, I use it a lot with my wife. If it has been released for iPhone and Android I assume that it will be released if not today, soon.

Posted via CB10

Is your wife in the beta too? Guess she must be. It's all very well having all these great test gizmos (software wise) to play but with no one to test them on, uhhhm.....

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

No, she has an iPhone, using BBM 1.0.xx. The notification of your location has a link that opens the browser with a map. Isn't using BBMAPS it works even in LatinAmerica, it could see the exact location of my parents house.

Posted via CB10

Nice. I hope our update comes soon too. My channels not working properly since 10.2.1.

Posted via CB10

It's hardly horrible, roll in the updates. The sooner BBM Video goes cross-platform the sooner I can tempt friends to use it.

Posted via CB10

Even if that's the case, it's still a poor move. They should have updated it on BlackBerry phones first. We are paying customers. We should never get anything at a later time to Android and iOS.

Yeah, I see they said BlackBerry and that we'll get it today, but don't really care. The title of the press release only says iOS and Android is available now. As a paying customer, I don't ever want to be a second fiddle to iOS and Android. Any new product should launch and be available on BlackBerry first and then iOS and Android.

The press release title should read: New BBM update available to BlackBerry Customers Now! BBM Voice and BBM Channels Soon Available for Android and iPhone Customers

The title is fitting, for BlackBerry this is much bigger news that these features have gone cross-platform and shouting about that will do more good for the business than your suggestion.

Posted via CB10

"Oh my god! The nerve of BlackBerry for trying to roll all three out on the same day and having one version minutes or hours behind another! Dead looms. Destruction imminent! The sky is falling!!!"

Gawd, the melodrama in the forums and comments section is startling

no you haven't...unless you're part of the 10.3 beta release, you're either lying or misunderstanding the feature.

neither...I said unless you're part of the 10.3 beta, which you apparently are. Therefore you're apparently not lying. Is the beta stable? I wasn't able to get in on it but have been following the discussions in Beta Zone.

nope it's still in beta and not released to the public yet. like i haven't got it yet..

Should of got beta release though I'm active as hell on those beta forums..

Not to mention i live in Waterloo!! but obviously that has nothing to do with it

hey man, I've been chatting to them there and only some people got the invite. Don't worry about it...BBM 10.3 is set to be released in BB World today.

good to hear brother thanks ;)

I know some people got the invite but i should have been 1 of them!!! haha

Haxorleet, I noticed you have now met QuIcksIIv3r, he is the Crackberry RoboCop.

You shouldn't use the word Fi##t, it's bad for ones health.

;)

Catapulted from my Z10.

Seen it yesterday. The old one it better. One shoot'em down orgy. More like a terminator than a cop.

iPhone for me? Scr... ahem Q that! (posted from the latter)

Well if you don't read it incorrectly, then how do you get angry at BlackBerry?

Posted via CB10

When I posted my comment the actual press release was not posted. I was going on what was originally posted. Ok I withdraw my previous comment.

In the press release that you didn't read

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

From the BlackBerry blog:

**The new version of BBM on BlackBerry (BBM v.10.3) will be available on BlackBerry 10. BlackBerry OS5 and above will also be updated but will not include location sharing or Dropbox integration. For a full list of the new features of BBM, please visit www.bbm.com.

Posted via CB10

the android and ios users gets the goodies, but the loyalty users gets nothing only the"beta and leaked versions "...
well done BlackBerry /
:)

Posted via CB10

Well done on not reading

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

This is the only smart move made by BB in the last 5 years. BB devices are hard to even find out in the wild. They are about as obscure as a straight guy at a gay club. I am baffled why people bought any of these newer BB phones that were already two years behind the curve out of the box. Then again, that would have put them 10 years ahead of the older BB phones.

*pulls out Note 3 and approaches MILF at Starbucks*

Depends on the mom, surely?

I use my phone to hit on a mom every day. (Not that I succeed every day. )

OK, So that mom also happens to be my wife...but still the same principle ;)

Posted by the inimitable Z10 handheld system

not yet...they will most likely need to prepare their infrastructure for the amount of data that will be going through their servers...this takes a bit of time.

How Android & Apple have features BlackBerry don't have ? I don't understand BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

No...you can't read?

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

Calling Michael Clewley

We need a BBM conference video chat on 3.0

Google hangouts can't have it all their own way

Posted via CB10

Yh conspiracy...

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

The greatest conthprirathee to ever grace this site....oh wait, sorry...I read 5 lines into the press release and debunked the conspiracy - oh no! Whatever shall I do now that I can't claim BlackBerry is abandoning its own users?!

I really think this is going to be huge! Like my incredible Z30! BlackBerry for life?!

Posted using the best phone ever, the Z30!

How about BlackBerry it self?? When we gonna get updates bbm 10.3??
This is sucks.. we always left behind with android..

Posted via CB10

Chen is an android spy sent in to destroy blackberry dats y..

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

And we are never getting it.. :)

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

Congratulations to Android and iPhone users been using the Beta for BB10 for a while now it's smooth BBM 10.3 should be pushed out today as well

Posted via CB10

I think it's a stupid strategy, BlackBerry should give BB10 a priority especially when the update of BBM, they should update on BB10 device first or at least update it at the same time. Really disappointed!!!!

Z30STA100-2/10.2.1.1925

See...reading is clearly a thing of the past for folks here.

Thurask even quoted lol and posts after his still say the same crap

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

Hilarious...someone tweet that BlackBerry is getting it too. apparently attention spans only last about 180 characters at most

From my new z30

One does not simply
read the article before leaving a comment

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

Are you sure u did? :)

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

No, not yet...it has been part of the beta for some time now, but not officially.

They are rolling them all out together which is a great idea!

I don't see it... so when you say its available now.. what does it mean for you crackberry? would you please translate 'now' from crackberryish to English?

Since 2010 

Your existence is too late...

[URL="bbmc:C0001BBA7"]CLICK HERE[/URL] To Join My Music & Poetry Channel. Please&Thanks.

infrastructure most likely cannot take it right now...let them upgrade. That shit is expensive and takes time to set up.

For crying out loud!!!! ADAM kindly edit your title to state that BlackBerry users are getting the update too. Many people are confused SMH. And can't really blame them because your title is very misleading.

No mention of finding friends on Facebook, etc who also have BBM. Is that feature not part of the next update as well?

Posted via CB10

I know that BB10 support will update today too, but why they should update at android and ios first, I think that we BB10 user should be their priority.

Z30STA100-2/10.2.1.1925

Sweet! Hopefully ios version is less laggy now! I'm having issues keeping my wife using it on her iPhone...

Posted from my Z10 via CB10

I have a z30.....it is my friend who has a useless iphone and won't use BBM because he can't make the text larger on his tiny useless phone.

Posted via CB10

Your friend needs to go into the iphone settings itself and up the font size in there, then BBM will look normal and readable. tell em to put it up to 12 or 14. that should do the trick.

Unfortunately that doesn't work. My wife complains about the same thing. Changing the font size o ios doesn't change the font in bbm and it is incredibly small. She only uses BBM because she knows I like it. She has one contact, me. Her biggest complaints are the font size and the very quite notification that also can't be changed or turned up in volume.

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