Research in Motion has released a new version of the popular BlackBerry Messenger app. The most nifty addition in this version of the app is that it supports voice calls over Wi-Fi.
We had reported about this BBM feature about a month back, when it was still in beta stage. However, now the app is available in BlackBerry App World. For now, this voice calls over Wi-Fi features is available for the BlackBerry devices running on OS 6 and above but RIM has promised an update for BlackBerry OS 5 customers in early 2013.
Users can continue to text chat with other BBM contacts while they are on a voice call. Voice calling will not work over 3G or cellular networking, likely as a sop to keep mobile operators around the globe happy.
RIM explained the key features of voice calling via BBM:
- 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.
Apart from voice calls there are also few other new additions that are being packaged inside BBM7, which include:
- BBM upgrade notifications - BBM will notify you when there are updates to download straight from within the app
- BBID Synchronization - your BBM profile, Groups and Contacts are linked to your BlackBerry ID
- 16 Additional emoticons - even more choice for those times when words just aren't enough.
Just last week, BlackBerry had rolled out an updated version of Facebook app, seems like company is trying to please its loyalists just ahead of showcasing its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.