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.