A big BBM update has just landed for Android (and indeed, iOS users), bringing it to version 2.0. The update brings BBM Channels, BBM Voice and a few other new features to our non-BlackBerry toting friends. You’ll find a find a few things have moved around but the overall look is pretty much the same.

Along the bottom you should have some tabs, just as with the first iteration of BBM for Android. But now you have Updates down there in place of Contacts. You will now have to access contacts in the menu when you press the three lines icon in the bottom left of the screen. What you will also find in that menu is the addition of a Channels tab. This is the BBM Channels section.

BBM Channels has been around on BlackBerry devices for a while now, first releasing in beta back in May 2013, then released to the masses in November 2013. It has now arrived on BBM for Android allowing you build your community some more. You can pop along to our BBM Channels section to find out more and also discover how to follow Team CrackBerry.

As well as BBM Channels, another big addition to BBM for Android is BBM Voice - allowing you to make VOIP calls to other BBM contacts over Wi-Fi (or cellular, where permitted). If you are or have been a BlackBerry user you’ll know how great the call quality of a BBM Voice call is, so this is a great plus point.

The BBM Voice option is found in the top right corner of a chat window. You will find a speech bubble with a telephone icon. If it is green, then this indicates that the contact is available for a BBM Voice chat. It will be grayed out if the are not available for chat.

BBM 2.0 new chat windowBBM 2.0 Push-to-talk

There are also some new options available within the chat window. You’ll see the addition of a paper clip icon to the left of the text field. Tapping it brings up some attachment options, making easier for you to share files. Selected by default is the option to send a voice note. Just tap and hold the microphone icon and speak, once you let go the voice note will send. There’s an option to snap a picture using the camera icon but you can also send a photo from your library by using the last icon, the flower. This icon gives you other options too. You can send contacts details (person icon), files (paper icon), your location (map pin icon) or share items from your Dropbox folder (Dropbox icon), which is a new addition to BBM 2.0.

BBM 2.0 file attachment layoutBBM 2.0 Glympse location sharing

There is a better way to share your location with a contact, though. BBM brings you location sharing powered by Glympse. It allows you to share your location in real time with other BBM contacts. What is great about this is that you can share your location for a specified amount of time. Once that time period has elapsed, the option to view the location expires on the receiver’s end. Location sharing is great for those meet ups and days out. This is done using the 'G' icon found within the paper clip attachment option above. When you tap it, your location will be found using GPS. You can then use the toggle to choose an amount of time for which your location will be visible. When this time has elapsed, they will no longer be able to view the map again, unless you re-send your location.

New emoticons are also available, now giving your more than 100 ways to share your emotion via BBM.

Learn more/Download BBM for Android

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