Hands on with the latest BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 - oozing with awesomeness!

By James Richardson on 21 Dec 2013 05:06 am EST

If you're a a BlackBerry 10 user and have the Beta Zone app installed you may have been lucky enough to be selected to test out the latest version of BBM. Unfortunately, not everyone got it, so I'm pretty pleased I was on the list as this thing is freaking awesome. 

Us BlackBerry addicts already know that BBM is the best instant messaging client out there and it's even better since we have been able to BBM our buddies on Android and iOS devices, but this beta is taking BlackBerry Messenger to a new level. 

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet as it's all about the video, so check it out as soon as you can. With a beautiful selection of new features in this release - including a bunch of really cool emoticons, Glympse and easier file sharing you'll also see that I get rather excited about voice note sharing. It is now so simple to use, with instant delivery and isn't far off push-to-talk. 

Note: If you are running a leaked OS on your BlackBerry then the BBM beta will not work. You can't win 'em all. 

If you are one of the beta testers be sure to hit up the feedback section in the Beta Zone so BlackBerry can get this update pushed out to the public as soon as possible. Nice work Team BBM - you have done  yourselves proud once again! 

Not a Beta Zone member? Download it here for BlackBerry 10 

Reader comments

Hands on with the latest BBM beta for BlackBerry 10 - oozing with awesomeness!


Hopefully this BBM update does bring it to a new level and really does a better job in impressing android and iOS users. A lot of android users over on Android Central were saying how unimpressed or nothing special BBM was when they downloaded it out of curiosity but saw nothing special or had no contacts so lost interest in it or it was buggy and etc.

With so many other msging apps out there like Whatsapp, Kik , viber and etc on those platforms it's very hard to attract those users from switching. So hopefully this new update really brings BBM to a whole new level by really standing out!!!

I'd like to see an update to make voice notes/PTT play from within the chat window, not launch the media player.

Sideload an older file. Search in the forums to find it

Sent from my Z30 on Verizon through CB10 running

Maybe it's just me but I like that I can review the sound or re record if I'm not happy. Push to talk is hyped up and not a feature I'm particularly going to get excited about.
We already have BBM voice for one thing!

The new sharing features sounds much better.

I do too, Idk how much I'm going to like not being able to hear what it sounds like beforehand.

Posted via CB10

I can see a very good use for it. When I'm driving and want to send a quick message to someone it's easy to do without having to take my eyes off the road. I use the voice control over my Bluetooth to enter actual text for that purpose now, but this looks easier and safer.

fair point especially on a cradle and its good to see the attachment window for voice still active for multiple use.

In the end, you're still reading the BBM/TEXT messages if their replying back (without voice) which is still a big no no in some countries driving laws - just stick to bbm voice or to speaker calls. For most other reasons, I can't see why it can't wait until you get out of the car and if its urgent just speaker call them.
If they can't receive voice calls, then they certainly can't be receiving voice messages, so voice to text is still your best bet.

have said that, I still would like a way to review it.

Maybe someone who has it can accidentally rip us the BAR? *hint hint wink wink*

9700 ~ 9900 ~ Z10 ~ Z30

Do you know if we can now send videos over the 6mb limit? As I think this needs to change as Whatsapp, I messenger and Kik allow you to.

Posted via CB10

Maybe Crackberry could add the following to that article.....

If you are running a leaked OS version then this beta WILL NOT WORK!

I made that mistake last night and had to reinstall the OS

Posted via CB10

You didn't see this??

"Note: If you are running a leaked OS on your BlackBerry then the BBM beta will not work. You can't win 'em all."

Posted via CB10

So BlackBerry & CrackBerry are responsible and should know you are running an OS that you shouldn't even have, and are now to blame for your issue.

Why don't you take some responsibility and learn what a leak truly is an not expect new programs to flawlessly work with it. #Damn entitled much.

Posted via CB10

OMG...I've been Refreshing the Beta Zone App like a Gazillion Times you would think they would acknowledge Someone who fills all surveys Meticulously..oh Well

Posted via CB10

lol, i even unsubscribed from their beta emails and they still sent me the invite. Too bad i'm on a leaked version so cant use it on my main phone the z30, but have it installed on the z10. So far so good

Got it here but there's a few glitches messages taking a while to send messages sending to other bb10 devices but not being delivered ect

Posted via CB10

My only question is where can I get the spinning bb logo??

Posted with my sexy white Z10 rocking STL100-2/

I'm not getting the 'record voice message ' feature? Where/when would we use this in place of bbm voice / video?. Nice to have it I guess. Really loving the new emoticons and file sharing features.

Member - BlackBerry Android/Pirating Resistance Force: BARF

Well, not sure about this but I believe voice notes are sent as a mms (multimedia message), probably a data plan is not required.

Got it but as I'm running 10.2.1 leak, it was a choice between BBM or the leak. Guess the leak won.

Z10 goodness

Does not work on .1055 but does it work on .1059? Have it on my BB beta app but wanna confirm before i download it.

"Note: If you are running a leaked OS on your BlackBerry then the BBM beta will not work. You can't win 'em all."

Posted via CB10

Thanks. Btw.. meant .1259. Won't download then. The perks of the .1259 leak is way more important and useful for my use.

I am loving all the new features! And was waiting for new emoticons. Perfect. My contacts couldn't see them yet when I sent them in a message. Can't wait till everybody has it! I like that location feature and it being visible only for a limited time.

The beta version has improved it, it not only shows people with bbm but also suggested contacts you can invite

Posted via CB10

I'm hoping they will incorporate Video Chat into it sometime in the near future. Now that would be awesome.

Posted via CB10

I'm tired of all this great news but no updates on phones! It's been like 6 months since last official update

Posted via CB10

Now that's nice! I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get it. Can't wait to get my hands on that.

Posted via Q10

Does that request function work on i(P)OS and (hemm)Droid phones? I haven't had success transferring many pics I've sent to others with those (crap) devices.

Posted via CB10

Yes it does. Just worked it out on my kid's phone. Press and hold the message with the picture in it and a side menu slides in from the right. On it is a selection "HQ". If you tap this it sends a request back to the sender for the full file. Sender agrees to request and the full file is sent. Sorry but I'm excited I finally figured out how it works! I was having to resort to email or text to send full picture files. No longer....

Posted via CB10

I wish it was just automatically high quality. Such a hassle. For example say I need a picture of something from a friend, say a study sheet. And I need it right away. I ask for the picture, wait 5 min for him to read my request and send the picture. 10kb Is blurry as fuck so it will be unreadable. I now send another request for the same picture and wait another 5 min for a response.

This has happened to me a few times, I now just request by text message for media. It's atleast twice as fast because it doesn't take two requests for 1 picture. MMS is also Compressed but not nearly as bad as BBM

No, when sending the new emoticons, they are in text or simple format so the other user sees :)#$¥ and the like.
Can only use the new faces with another beta user.

From my Vader Zed

I've been a BlackBerry fan since day one had BBM since the first BlackBerry. It is amazing to see how far it has come a long. BBM to date is still the best messaging system on the market. Nothing can come close.

Posted via CB10

All new apps never show on my beta page, now there's new BBM Beta? Ay I think the beta team hates me lol... I heard there was also a FB for BlackBerry 10 Beta app, never saw it on my page, with all the refreshes and info update on the profile, still not getting any app pushed to me! Mnchmmnn wats the use of being called a beta tester then lol

Posted via my sexy QTEN (the BOLDIER BOLD) :D

This has to be exclusive to BB10 users only. Just give those other platforms video, voice and channels. That's all they'll need.

Posted via CB10

I think we need to start thinking of BBM as the newest (and oldest) social network. All features to all users is what is good for the social network. Features and services will gradually be added that make for a richer more complete experience for all members regardless of device used to access it. Looking forward to unique, robust and useful services for both social social, enterprise social, and commercial purposes ( being able to buy/ sell, transact through BBM. )

Posted via CB10

I was hoping to get this in my beta zone as I'm not running a leak. No luck. :(

Hope it goes live quickly! Looks awesome!

Posted via CB10

Please BBM team, go to awb format for voice notes. That's what WhatsApp went to and it is better sounding.

Also, James, what is that notification tone on the Z30 for BBM, I want it.

All I want to know is if it has "unread messages" feature within a group chat thread/discussion.

That is the one and only thing which will move my entire group to bbm from whatsapp.

Z30, Q10, Z10, iP5, SGS3

Yeah this BBM update is so awesome, I love all the emoticons and the new functionality.

Posted via my NEW Zed30

Didn't see the disclaimer about not loading on a leaked OS and now No BBM and OS seems unstable. Have had to pull the battery twice in the past 12 hours.

I will side load an earlier version, I guess.

Posted via CB10

Warning! OS 10.2.1 people don't install this! BBM will stop working, you will not be able to receive/send/respond to messages!

Posted via CB10

The beta works with Channels. I installed it and it kept all my channels.

Member - BlackBerry Android/Pirating Resistance Force: BARF

Nice that voice notes works already with Android. Used it to send to my wife with a Z10 but not on the Beta but was surprised when I sent it to my Android daughters phone and she got it!

Posted via CB10

I downloaded it but I didn't have the new emoticons ?
Even the voice not thing
Whats the problem??


I am unable to download the beta version and i hav er he BlackBerry beta zone but it's just won't show up even in the downloads.

Posted via CB10

This update looks cool, I just don't know how much I'll like not being able to hear what the voice notes sound like before them being sent off.

Posted via CB10

I had a lot of friends jump on BBM. Two days later they were gone. Asking so what is the big deal about BBM......no features, they understand what coming soon means at BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

For the voice notes, I think it would be better if they implemented it the same way as wechat. Tapping the voice note should just play the sound instead of it opening up another screen, and then playing the sound. Its a wasted several seconds, not huge but makes a difference

This beta was a good one! The new emoticons can use some sorting, but the rest is great!

Good job everyone.

James you're not that important to have to hide your location. Also I thought the speaker on the Z30 sounded much better than that.

Keep The Faith

Very cool! All of my Android and Ios contacts keep asking what the little green icon is in the upper right of the screen. .....ha

Posted via CB10

Most people don't understand how BBM works and what makes it faster and secure. How to create an informed public; that is the question.

Where do all those leaks coming from? My guess is from BlackBerry to have many People testing updates for them? Sorry, just curious i am a new BlackBerry User. Z10, nice Phone but way to go! No Wifi Direct, complicated gestures , very bad battery. They should update the OS,not even a homescreen where you can see what date is today....

the new voice note and Glympse look awesome awesome. AWESOME! I really hope there is a bb10 under the tree this year!

"...even a piece of poo with eyes on it..."

I laughed so...SO hard that I couldn't breathe. Something about the way James said it.

-STV on Z10STL100-3/ TMO US

I really hope this comes out soon. But really why does not BlackBerry have a huge marketing advertising campaign NOW? I mean, have you tried BBM voice or video ON a bb10 device? It means for family and friends a huge step in communication, especially over wifi. I mean a telephone, or a mobile with limited minutes means nothing now. Nothing. I live in Italy. My kids are in Canada. Great communication is costless. GO tell it! Certainly carriers hate this and why they have wanted to kill BlackBerry. Same reason you do not see facetime advertised!

Posted via CB10

Any one help me? I'm on os 10.1 but have tried to get 10.2 since release but every time I say download it says the software is 995mb then I proceed to download it then comes up with pls remove 1.6 gigs of stuff??? Why would I need to do this when I have 2.7 gigs free.. and I tried deleting everything I installed and still didn't work want more memory.. can any one help? My email is chrisbeata97@gmail.com

Posted via CB10

Absolutely about editing. Great predictive text, but without a trackpad, moving the little circle to exactly the right place slows me down unbearably compared to bbm (and any typing) on my legacy devices.

Also please get rid of the icon to 'invite more' users to a chat. Its location is my single biggest frustration with bbm on bb10!

So tired of Betas. We still don't even have the official 10.2 operating system updates as of yet.

Posted via CB10

The new BBM looks amazing! A lot of new options and the style is very fluent and intuitive! Well done

C0038297E Quote of the Day (BBM Channel)

This feature is awesome. I tested with my son Q10 it works perfect. I can also send it to my wife an Iphone as well.

My bbm keeps telling me it's connection has been lost. This is the 3 Rd time for today I had to restart my phone. It's highly annoying. What is happening???

Posted via CB10

Why does getting voice and video take so long to incorporate? These will be the most important additions to BBM, not p2t, nor location, or emoticons. Focus on priorities of consumers first...?....and ASAP or you lose the competitive struggling for the next user.

Posted via CB10

Nothing new for android and iphone user, they need a different product that the competence, they don´t mind the privacity or security, they need calls and video calls, sharing documents easily. My friends deleted the app becouse it was nothing new to whatsapp, and they say whatsapp is more friendly in the daily use...

So the one feature people are actually asking for, sending files bigger than 6mb, is not part of the upgrade. Great.

And any update on when BlackBerry are going to release a version of cross-platform BBM that doesn't actually suck? And by suck I mean actually offer something that WhatsApp, Kik and WeChat doesn't already do much better already.

Finally, for all of you wondering why PTT is so promoted, it's "the" feature in Asia, and WeChat, arguably the biggest IM platform in the world, is all about PTT.

Haha! This is where using a leaks OS backfires! I got an invite, but can't use this BBM...yet!
From what I'm reading, BBM lovers are having much more to love!
If I had a suggestion for BBM: Take everything it does now and add features that can make it a Google Voice replacement. Since Google is pulling GV next year, there will be a gap to fill!

GOD !! I should've read the whole article before jumping into beta zone and installing the update. I'm running leaked 10.2.1 OS and BBM won't even load now :-/ Anyone figured a way to downgrade to previous (Official) version other than re-installing the OS :(?

There was a new leak just released. Since I already killed my BBM, I figure why not just upgrade. With the latest BlackBerry Link doing a backup before and restore after, the update was virtually painless. What's more, you get the latest "official" BBM restored.

Otherwise, you need to get the .bar file which there supposedly is a link to somewhere on the forums and you can sideload it.


I like the wallpaper on the Q10, can someone give me the link to download it? Thanks in advance.

does it work as well the one on iphone ? I recently lost two of my friends, loyal bb10 users, to an iphone because of that feature. Both swear that iphone one works much better.

Any idea when Glympse will be offered in BB World for BB10 devices? I just checked for the Z10 and not available. LOVE the BBM/Glympse connection! That is super cool!

Can I send multiple pictures at a time? Am I able to send files over 10mb if over WiFi. Does it still shrink pictures by default?

so, i don't get it. bbm is getting features that the competition already has had for years? sharing location? voice notes? EMOJI!?!?!

come on! i use bbm on my android for one reason only. it allows you to meet people that don't know you well enough to give their phone number. but i don't see bbm being the leader , rather it's just following everyone else.