News by Andrew Kameka on Wednesday September 18, 2013.
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BlackBerry originally said that it would launch its BlackBerry Messenger client for Android and iOS in the summer, but Labor Day, the unofficial end of the season, came and went without nary a word of the messaging client making its way to other platforms. BlackBerry will be true to its promise and deliver BBM on the last official day of summer - Saturday, September 21.
BBM for Android and iOS will initially lack the full range of features found in the BlackBerry versions of the app, but the app's launch will enable free text-based communication for users wishing to keep in touch with their BlackBerry-toting friends. BBM will support one-on-one chat with receipts when messages are read, and show when the other person is typing. Group chats with up to 30 friends are also supported.
Status updates viewable by all contacts, Broadcast Messages that are viewable by all group members, and photos and voice notes are also shareable with BBM for Android and iOS. Live screen sharing and voice calls remain features that are exclusive to BlackBerry devices; Android and iPhone users will gain those features in a future update.
BlackBerry says that BBM is used daily by more than 60 million customers, and the figure might grow with the release on Android and iOS this weekend. Android users will need a phone running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later when the app becomes available at 7AM ET on September 21. The iPhone version will launch for iOS 6 or later at 12:01 AM September 22.
Download BBM for Android/iOS (link live on Sept 21)source: BlackBerry
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.