Using BBM Voice on BBM version 7

By Adam Zeis on 14 Nov 2012 01:30 pm EST
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BBM Voice is a brand new feature that was introduced in BBM version 7 (currently in beta) that lets you make free calls over wifi to your BBM contacts. The short version of this post? It's awesome. I've played around with it a bit today and I have to say it works without a hitch. I've made numerous calls to contacts all over the world and they've all worked flawelessly. BBM Voice is tightly integrated in BBM so there is really no learning curve at all. If your contact is availalbe, just tap the status icon to start a BBM Voice call and that's that. 

While you're on a call you still have the ability to use the standard BBM chat for text or sending files, and you can also jump out to other apps on your device, just like with the phone itself. Check your email, view you calendar or browse the web while on a call. The only thing you need to remember is that to answer the call you need to press the Send button -- something that wasn't so obvious to James or I at first.

BBM Voice is truly an amazing addition to BBM. If you travel often or talk to friends/family long distance, it can be huge help to your long-distance charges. Being able to "escalate" a BBM chat to a voice chat with just one button is a no-brainer. Gone are the days of sending voice notes back and forth -- BBM Voice is where it's at.

BBM 7 is currently available in the BlackBerry Beta Zone for registered users. Once you install the app, you can see the status icon for contacts that are also using BBM 7. If their status is green, tap the icon to start a call and you're off to the races. It's awesome. Check out more on BBM 7 here and watch the video above for a full walkthrough.  

Reader comments

Using BBM Voice on BBM version 7

89 Comments

SO.... unfortunately all my friends in the USA have moved along to iOS or Android... BUT i do have (STILL) a long list of friends and customers in Latin America on BBM -
My question:
HOW DO I GET THEM SIGNED UP ON BETA ZONE & BBM7??
Is there a work around to get BBM7 if BetaZone is not available in these countries??
Ian
Bold 9900 & PlayBook 64GB Wifi

Now they have to make it connect with Viber or another voip service so we can chat with our Viber contact into the BBM app. That way Viber will gain a large user base without the need to support a blackberry app. And RIM will gain a cross platform voip service without the need to share BBM with the other platforms.

While BBM Voice only works over WiFi, BBM itself needs BIS to function.

So you need to have both to use the feature. You can turn the carrier network off, but you can't remove the SIM card from the device, else BBM goes dead (with or without WiFi).

Ok, thanks for the clarification. Carrier network off, but SIM card in, will work for me. Wasn't sure how BBM worked over Wifi.

I realize that the call takes place over wifi, but don't you have to be connected to BIS via cellular in order to see your BBM contacts in the first place?

Getting to the heart of your question, yes. You need to have a BIS account in order for it to work. BlackBerry devices don't work on Wi-Fi alone. The Wi-Fi provisioning that allows some apps to function over Wi-Fi has to come by way of a BlackBerry data plan / Service Book.

Thanks for the reply Bla1ze. Right, you have to have an active BIS account obviously to have BBM contacts in the first place. But do you have to have an active BIS connection at the time you are making the Wifi call in order for it to work? I'm thinking of a scenario of being in a foreign country where you don't want to data roam, or being in a hotel in some small place somewhere without cell service.

Yes, it will work because you can always turn off your Mobile connection on your BB and use BBM over WiFi. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you are in a foreign country with no cellular connection but you have WiFi, this feature, along with normal BBM, should work fine.

Ok, thanks for the clarification. Carrier network off, but SIM card in, will work for me. Wasn't sure how BBM worked over Wifi.

Thanks Bla1ze - query: will this change now with BBM under BB10 and the association with BBID vs. PIN? Presumably they have a plan for running BBM on wifi-only PBs running BB10 and sans BIS?

I've only been trying it out for the last hour or so but I'm loving this new feature. Voice calls are crystal clear.

Well its not working for me. I installed it on mine and my wife bold 9900. It connects but no sound. I'm wondering if it the Os we are running? Both on Os7.1.0.746. Can anyone confirm this.

Does it work on BB OS 6?

IqWaN

BB 9780 white os 6
pin:236154FD

BB Playbook 32gb os 2.1.0.1032

No.. not as of yet..but as noted in the press release, a version that supports 5/6 is coming.

RIM Press Release:

BBM version 7 with the new BBM Voice feature is currently available in Beta for BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry® 6 OS or higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS at a future date. The Beta can be downloaded for free from BlackBerry Beta Zone**. Customers can sign up to BlackBerry Beta Zone for free at www.BlackBerry.com/betazone

Thought the press release said: "BBM version 7 with the new BBM Voice feature is currently available in Beta for BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry® 6 OS or higher..." I.e. 0S 5 support pending, OS6&7 support functional??

Correct...should work on OS6 and higher.

BBM version 7 with the new BBM Voice feature is currently available in Beta for BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry® 6 OS or higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS at a future date.

nice one but why is not available in india. RIM hasnt released bbm music in india, bbm maps doesnt cover this region. @kevin can u ask the german why>?

Rats... It killed my 9800. Phone rebooting non stop. Had to reload after backup. Might not try again til released

I have a 9850, the wife has 9930.....I installed BBM 7, I am on a wi-fi connection, and there is NOTHING about BBM voice anything....does my wife need it installed as well?

Have 9860 and OS 7.1; just installed this beta feature, but need to wait somebody else of my contact list to install it too to test it :S ... But having no problem from one version to other =)

When using BBM Voice, is it secure? Does it use the BBM contacts to connect but the voice portion is unsecure over wifi or is the voice portion going through the BBM servers just like our messages?

Does anyone know if this supports OS 5 and 6?

I have many friends on those OS's and I want to be able to communicate with them through this feature!

Read the blogs. OS 5 support is coming soon, OS 6 and 7 is already available. Just wait for an official release.

Sorry if this is obvious or already answered..... You as the initiator / sender must be on a a WiFi network, but is there any restriction on the recipient? Does the other phone have to be on WiFi as well or can they be anywhere and be able to connect through their cell connection?

+1 , why not have it run on 3g as well along with wifi? when you're out and about and you dont have a wifi network to access and wanna chat with friends abroad having bbm voice chat over 3g would be useful

It is almost certainly not about the data it uses, it is about increasing the complexity of the testing and development workload for a project that is probably using an extremely small team as it is since the rest of the company is busy on bb10 right now.

This version they add the new feature and ensure there are no unexpected side-effects when it rolls out and probably we see it enabled for cellular when bbm 7.1 or 8 comes out next.

I was just thinking that this is really awesome for people you want to be able to talk to but only for a short amount of time, like a classmate you are working on a project together or helping out, or a mutual friend that is helping plan a suprize party. You will be able to communicate and talk to each other but after the said project is over you can remove them from BBM and they no longer have a way to call or text you anymore, unlike giving out your phone number.

well i t looks like blackberry won me back to bbm stillz video calling im comming back iphone so dumb i wanna my blackberry back for real

ok downloaded this , this AM.

having issues where my "ding" notification sound isn't working. all others email, text, ringer, etc is working but not BBM,.
it shows the red astrix but that it, no noise, i rebooted my phone a few time, tried to change the sound profile, nothing.

wow ... this is great. Nice demo .... and the sound is crystal clear for being an over seas call.
This is a huge plus for RIM - nice work -

Go RIM Go ! U.S.A. loves you ... and wants you back BIG TIME !

I love this new feature as well...would love it more if

1) we can use it over 3G
2) if we could connect BT headsets to it. as of now only handset and speakerphone.
3) if we could do group chats.

How are carriers taking this? This is a work around to Rogers' blocked wifi calling...

BBM Voice. This is definitely a NEW Research in Motion. Getting back to its heritage and delivering the goods.

More like this please.

i downloaded bbm7 on blackberry beta zone. but after rebooting and hit bbm icon . nothing happen . im from the philippines

Not big relevance at all.
RIM costumers call for big percentage outside BBM , so the tool it is fine because it is more one, but will be not a anchors that RIM need for grow up .
Microsoft messenger end ... and rim drive for that way .

RIM need to do the same as SKYPE with more quality . Strong and inovattive for achieve and maintain clients.

Clients that need quality and wish to be surprised .

Coup de gras? That would mean a Hit with fat... Next time, say... coup de grâce (grass) which means the final deadly hit. ;-)

For you guys who still don't have bbm 7 available in beta, edit your profile and temporarily change you country to 'United States', save, logout, then relogin. I'm from the Philippines and it worked for me.

Installed this to mine and wifes Bold 9650's. App works good but note the app had a certificate error on both handsets. When exiting out of the program, we lost internet connection on both handsets. "A coomunication error occurred..." Seems that you stay connected to rim.voip connection and doesnt automatically exit out and release the connection, thus the carrier signal doesnt pick back up. Had to delete and install the official BBm to correct this.

I will wait til they get the bugs fixed

i hope this is a precursor to something cooler. iOS face time now runs on cellular data and PB video chat never really caught on because it was totally dependent on WiFi

I wonder if the "wifi only choice" was a technical limitation of cellular networks, or a move made to avoid treading on telcos' turf. I hope it's not the latter. BBM voice over cellular might bite into voice minutes, but it increases data traffic. So either way, telcos win.

Installed it and my daughter who lives in the Caribbean installed it as well. Call quality is very clear especially as it is long distance (Miami to the Caribbean). One of the known issues is calls cutting off at the ten minute mark and true to form it did. I am very impressed so far and I am excited at the future of Blackberry. With features such as this and all what we have read so far coming to Blackberry 10 I am eagerly awaiting the release. I am sure my friends who migrated will come running back when the Rimpire Strikes Back.

Woohoo!!! I just installed it and tried it. Wow!!! The voice quality was beauty.

A couple of points for the various people who have posted here.

Yes, both phones must be connected via wifi for the call to go thru.

Yes, both phones must have BBM7 installed (which means both phones must have BBID setup, including downloading and installing the latest version of BBID) (and both phone's BBIDs must be registered at the BB Beta Zone).

Yes, both phones must have a BIS dataplan (or BES too I suppose but BES is outside my ken) and must be connected to BIS over wifi. You can tell this by seeing if the little "BB" symbol is located immediately to the right of the wifi "wave" symbol in the phone's upper right corner of the home screen.

No, you cannot use this feature over bridge to the PB.

And if you're asking if it's available for:

- BB6 devices? Yes, right now.
- BB5 devices? No, not now, but later.
- PB? No, not now, but will be once BB10 comes out, and by then should include video.
- over mobile cellular data? No not right now, but in early 2013.

Am I the only one having trouble connecting?
Tried with my friends, it rings for both and connect, but we cant hear each other.

Any one else having the same issue?

I was having a similar problem, wasn't sure how to actually answer until I relized i had to hit the phone answer button like it was a regular call... works perfect.

Just finished install it on my 9700 (onyx) in Indonesian network. For normal usage (chat, sending receiving pics/voice notes, changing animated display pictures), it is working fine. Only haven't tried to use BBM Voice, since none of my friends are registered to Beta Zone users nor connected to WiFi.

How is this any better than Skype integration with WP8 considering Skype is available on pretty much any device? Simply curious

This would work better if ANY of my bbm friends had it. Why go Beta ? Release it already !

Okay so this is the first Beta I'm trying. Am I doing somethign wrong because when I log in and select it and hit download it says email sent but I haven't gotten no email via ota yet all day adn I've tried it multiple times.

For people who are not able to d/l the program (BBM 7.0) from the beta zone, sign into the beta zone, update your profile by changing the country to USA, save & sign out. Relogin and voila, there's the program in the eligible programs list. Enjoy.

hmm. Canada doesn't work?
From Canada I can see it and click the download and it says email has been sent but I don't seem to get it.... hmmm

Edit:
figured it out. I did it on my BB and it worked fine but some reason didn't work from my macbook.... whatever works now.
Thanks

Those of us on TMobile have had true wifi calling to any phone for years UMA has been on BB phones for five or six years.

******************************************************************************************************** PLEASE HELP

Mine is showing "Your voice chat connection cannot be established".
BBM: 7.0.0.126
Curve 3G 9300
OS 6.0.0.706
Vodafone India
ISP: Wish Net Private Ltd (http://www.wishnetbroadband.com/)
Wifi Router: Asus RT-N10E
*********************************************************************************************************

Guys, I just installed the latest BBM and when I go to the Voice Chat icon, it says that "Your voice chat connection cannot be installed." Can anyone tell me if they have experienced the same thing and what they did to make it work? Thank you!

Guys, I just installed the latest BBM and when I go to the Voice Chat icon, it says that "Your voice chat connection cannot be installed." Can anyone tell me if they have experienced the same thing and what they did to make it work? Thank you!

THIS IS A GREATE FEATURE BUT WHY RIM NEVER THOUGHT OF MANY PEOPLE LIKE US IN SA THAT DO NOT HAVE WIFI (35 OF 100 DONT HAVE WIFI) ? WHY NOT 3G INSTEAD. ATLEAST IT SHOULD WORK WITH DATA BUNDLES.