BBM 7 Offers Free Voice Chat Over Wi-Fi

— November 14, 2012

BlackBerry Messenger takes the social networking experience to a new level with BBM Voice. Research In Motion announced BBM version 7, a free update for the globally popular mobile social network, which will allow customers to make free voice calls to other BBM customers around the world over a Wi-Fi connection.

BBM is a fast, convenient and inexpensive service for BlackBerry customers that lets them instantly chat with a friend, family member or colleague, and know when their message has been delivered, and read. With the new version of BBM, customers have a new option – they can talk with their BBM contact across the globe for free over a Wi-Fi connection. In an instant, customers can switch between texting and talking, or talk and text at the same time. For consumers, especially in developing markets, the BBM Voice feature offers an attractive way to talk with friends and family near and far, and staying in contact will be easier than ever as the holiday season approaches. For business customers, BBM Voice allows for enriched collaboration.

BBM Voice includes a number of features.

  • Customers can initiate a BBM Voice call directly, or instantly switch from a BBM text chat to talk, and back again.
  • The split-screen feature allows customers to talk and text at the same time, so for example, they can send a picture to their contact while talking with them. They can also check other BBM text chats, check email, or navigate to other apps while engaged on a BBM Voice call.
  • BBM provides a visual indicator that shows when contacts are available for a voice call.
  • BBM Voice is compatible with any accessories a customer has now for making voice calls on their BlackBerry smartphone, such as a Bluetooth or wired headset. Customers can also use BBM Voice over their BlackBerry smartphone's speakerphone.
  • If it's not an ideal time to talk, customers can simply choose to respond by texting back.
Another important feature of BBM version 7 is its integration with customers' BlackBerry IDs, which is designed to back up their BBM profile, groups and contacts so they can automatically be restored in the event they switch to a new BlackBerry smartphone, including to a BlackBerry 10 device.

BBM version 7 with the new BBM Voice feature is currently available in Beta for BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 6 OS or higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS at a future date. The Beta can be downloaded for free from BlackBerry Beta Zone. Customers can sign up to BlackBerry Beta Zone for free.

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