BBM coming to iPhone and Android this summer
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BBM coming to iPhone and Android this summer

BBM coming to iPhone and Android this summer

BlackBerry's signature messaging app BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) will be available to download in the App Store for iPhone and via Google Play for Android devices from summer 2013, it was announced last night.

    The free app will be made available following further tweaking for Apple's iOS 6, released last year, and devices running on Android 4.0 or higher, which dates back to late 2011.

    BBM has been platform exclusive since its inception in 2006 and has been a vital tool in retaining users, although competition has heated up in recent years with the soaring popularity of Whatsapp, Kik and other free messaging applications, also known as 'over the top' services.

    The announcement came at the BlackBerry Live 2013 event in Orlando yesterday morning, which was around 7pm GST. Andrew Bocking, Vice President of Software for BlackBerry, announced the landmark move in conjunction with the developer conference.
    "The time is definitely right for BBM to become a multi-platform mobile service," he said. "BBM has always been one of the most engaging services for BlackBerry customers, enabling them to easily connect while maintaining a valued level of personal privacy. We're excited to offer iOS and Android users the possibility to join the BBM community."

    More than 60 million people use BBM on worldwide on a monthly basis, with more than 51 million clocking of an average of 90 minutes usage per day. Collectively, 10 billion messages are sent and received each day – and they are normally read within 20 seconds of being received, according to the firm.

    BlackBerry made it clear that the new cross-platform BBM will still ensure users a high level of control and privacy over their contact list and who they allow to engage with them. Invites can be extended by PIN code, email, SMS or QR scan, regardless of platform. Android devices may also have the added benefit of NFC technology (tap-to-add) if equipped.

    Related: BlackBerry eyes budget smartphone market with new Q5
    AMEinfo Staff

    AMEinfo staff members report business news and views from across the Middle East and North Africa region, and analyse global events impacting the region today.

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