BlackBerry Messenger, a popular messaging service in some markets, will soon be updated to support older Android devices.
The BBM team announced that a release that also supports Gingerbread phones is now in beta, with a target launch for February. More specifically, the updated BBM for Android app will support devices running Android 2.3.3 and higher. Launched in October after repeated delays and false starts, BBM currently only supports Android 4.0 and higher, leaving millions of potential users of older devices high and dry.
BlackBerry says BBM has accrued tens of millions of new users on Android and iOS. Besides the extended compatibility, new features such as voice calling and channels are coming soon to the app.
Check out our review of BBM for Android:
While it may seem that BlackBerry is wasting time and resources developing for Gingerbread, the move makes more sense when you consider that BlackBerry products and services are still very popular in developing markets like Indonesia, where lower-end Android devices are more common.
At the last count, Gingerbread was holding on to over 20 percent of the total number of active Android devices, translating in millions of potential new users.
Check out BBM for Android in the Play Store.