BlackBerry Joins VoIP with Intro of BBM Voice
November 16, 2012
By Rachel Ramsey
, TMCnet Web Editor
Before the extreme popularity of the iPhone (News - Alert) and Android devices, BlackBerry had its fair share of users, who all created buzz over a certain service: BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM.
BlackBerry Messenger is an instant messaging app just for BlackBerry (News - Alert) smartphone owners. BBM lets users communicate in real-time with features like confirmation when message have been delivered and read, and the ability to send pictures, videos and voice notes.
A recent introduction by RIM has put BlackBerry users on the same level as Android (News - Alert) and iOS users with the advent of BBM voice, an application that enables Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The new service can be used when a BlackBerry is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
“With today’s announcement, we’re expanding the capabilities of the service for deeper social engagement and even greater collaboration, beginning with voice functionality,” said T.A. McCann, RIM's vice president in charge of BBM and social communities.
As with BBM, BBM Voice will work globally, and the firm reckons it will provide businesses with 'enriched collaboration' while offering friends and family better communications over the Christmas season.
"The new BBM Voice feature is for when you’re traveling and you want to call home without worrying about phone charges,” explained McCann, in a statement. “It’s for when you have news you can’t wait to share, for quickly explaining complicated details, and collaborating with colleagues. Whenever your ideas are too big for text, there’s BBM Voice."
Image via GetVoIP.com
The feature is part of the company’s new BBM version 7.0 software, which is available for free on BlackBerry smartphones with BlackBerry 6 OS or higher.
The BlackBerry 10 is set to launch in January of 2013. According to Tony Rizzo (News - Alert), TMC senior editor, whether RIM will be able to hold on to fight another day depends entirely on the quality of the devices it puts out there. So far we’ve heard mixed signals from RIM – these new toys will have consumer appeal, but they will be targeting enterprise users. There will be a touchscreen device, but they will also come out with yet another keyboard gadget because well, RIM cannot let go and still believes that too many of its existing users want that keyboard.
In fact, CEO Thorsten Heins believes that the keyboard lovers among us are now entirely underserved by all of the new devices that will be out there during the holiday season (with the now old Bolds and Curves RIM still subsidizes the wireless carriers to keep on the shelves holding down the keyboard lovers’ fort).
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Edited by Rich Steeves