Dang. Apparently I'll have to eat my own words on this one. So for the longest time both me and most members of the BlackBerry community have referred to the "new BlackBerry messenger" as BBM 5.0. Then, after hearing from so many RIM-connected peeps that internally "it's not BBM 5, but more like BBM 2 or BBM 2.5 depending on the device" then today we receive this email on the tipline with following update and overview:
BlackBerry® Messenger 5.0
Launch Date: Global - October 7, 2009
BlackBerry® Messenger is an instant messaging application that allows BlackBerry Smartphone users to send and receive instant messages with other BlackBerry Smartphone users.
BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 is the latest release.
- Enhanced SMS -Allows for a conversational chat-like user experience with a single contact list for the most personal mobile-to-mobile communications
- Note: BlackBerry® Device Software 5.0 and later is required for the SMS functionality.
- Avatars - Users can choose a picture from the BlackBerry Smartphone gallery and save it as their personal avatar, which will be seen by their contacts. They can also view other avatars in the contact list and zoom in on the avatars of contacts participating in a conversation by selecting "View participants."
- Large Media File Transfer - Users can send/receive large file transfers up to 6 megabytes for pictures, files and audio.
- Note: BlackBerry Device Software 5.0 is required to receive large media files.
- Enhanced Group Functionality - Allows for the ability to update, share & communicate with a subset community.
- Bar-code Identity - A user can add a contact to the BlackBerry Messenger contact list by displaying a 2-dimensional bar code that invitees can capture with their device cameras.
- Reliable Contact Backup and Restore - Contacts are backed-up on a server and do not require the need for BlackBerry® Desktop Manager.
So apparently RIM's market brand team decided to skip BBM 2, 3 and 4 and call it BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 to bring it in alignment with the OS 5.0 rollout that'll be taking place soon. Although hopefully even older devices that won't get OS 5.0 will be able to get BBM 5.0. But I doubt many in this case really care about the name game. What matters here is the expected launch date... October 7th! The BBM 5.0 support email went out to BlackBerry partners today so the info should hold legit, though of course we all know launch dates can change. But the 7th is only two sleeps away so we shall soon see if the info holds true. Excited much?!