BlackBerry has announced the BlackBerry Messenger will be available for Android on September 21st, and it’ll hit the iPhone a day later. BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM is one of the company’s flagship apps, and up until now it’s only been available for folks actually using a BlackBerry devices.
BBM for Android and iOS includes all the major features you get on a BlackBerry phone, including real-time chat, file sharing, and voice notes.
Users can also engage in multi-person chats with up to 30 users, broadcast messages to all contacts at once, and more.
In a nutshell, it doesn’t sound all that different from any number of other cross-platform apps. But BBM earned a reputation for offering a solid alternative to text messaging back when “BlackBerry” was synonymous with “smartphone,” and there are now more than 60 million users of the service.
Going cross-platform will let former BlackBerry users keep in touch with their old contacts — and give some folks one less reason to buy a new BlackBerry phone. At the same time, it could be the start of BlackBerry transition from a hardware company to a software company. If that’s the case, it makes sense to start offering software like this while there are still 60 million people addicted to BBM.
BBM for Andorid will support Android 4.0 and later. The iPhone app will support iOS 6 and later.