The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service will be available to download for iOS and Android devices but not on June 27 as previously rumored. Instead iPhone and Android fans will be able to get it from their respective app stores on the at a later date, BlackBerry has confirmed.
We’ve known for a little while now that the popular instant messaging/voice/video service would be available on non-BlackBerry handsets for the first time but an exact date has not been forthcoming.
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Earlier on Thursday, T-Mobile UK appeared to have let the cat out of the bag on the release date after it announced “Great news – BlackBerry Messenger will be available to download on iOS and Android from June 27th!” on Twitter on Thursday, which was later deleted.
However, an official confirmation from the company put the record straight.
“On 14 May, BlackBerry announced plans to make its ground-breaking mobile social network, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), available to iOS and Android users this summer, subject to approval by the Apple App Store and Google Play. While there have been reports that BBM will be available to iOS and Android on June 27, this is not accurate,” a BlackBerry spokesman said. “We will communicate an update as soon as we have an availability date to share.”
For Android devices, BBM will require the Jelly Bean (4.0) version or newer and for iOS devices you’ll need iOS 6 or up to be able to run the app.
While BlackBerry is opening up the platform to competitor’s for the first time, it could be a risky strategy: BBM remains one of the few key features exclusive to BlackBerry handsets, along with its trademark Qwerty keyboard – though we can’t see that heading to an iPhone anytime soon.
First versions of the app for iOS and Android will be more limited than BBM functionality on BlackBerry’s own handsets but will allow for cross-platform IM conversations, although no video or voice chat goodness.
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