BBM for Android - article image

According to numerous reports, a new version of Blackberry Messenger for Android is on its way — at least if you happen to be a beta tester.

The new version of the app is currently being pushed out to select individuals via the Blackberry Beta Zone. This isn’t a minor update, either. Not only does version add BBM Voice, there’s also BBM channels, improved photo/file sharing, new emoticons and more.

With BBM Voice, Android users of the app will finally be able to call other BBM Voice members in a fashion similar to other VoIP calling services such as Skype. As for Channels, basically this allows you to create or sign up for a discussion group. Although these channels could be useful for regular everyday Android users, Blackberry anticipates that the main purpose will be for companies to open groups as a means of communicating with their customers.

These are all welcome features, and seems to prove that Blackberry is serious about expanding the app’s feature list on Android. Too bad that BBM Video is still missing. Either way, let’s hope that the new features make their way to the stable Android app in the near future.

What do you think of BBM, and the newly added beta features? Is the popular messaging service a “way forward” for the struggling company or will the app’s success eventually die down?

Andrew Grush
Andrew is one of the three Managing Editors of Android Authority, primarily responsible for the overseeing of US team of writers, in addition to several other projects such as VR Source and more. He loves tech, gaming, his family, and good conversations with like-minded folks.
  • Jorge Acosta Gosh

    I downloaded a version, still have not tried, md5sum is 5fdf0ccaedef63e6dda30de7bf6f7aa1
    Anyone can confirm if is the good one?

    • Bryne

      Jorge whats the key needed to download

      • Jorge Acosta Gosh

        There is no key, just copy the link + space + UolA
        I think is not working unless you are in the pin whitelist…

  • Jorge Acosta Gosh!UkMVxbhb!K3XAKT96altStGV1c8g6NHNCF2EREMzlfjZ5rRM UolA bbmBetaApk

  • xtriker360

    I really hope that you don’t need a magnify glass to see the emo icons anymore.

  • gommer strike

    Re-code the app so it doesn’t require that icon sitting in the notification tray, and we’ll talk. No other prominent chat client needs it – why should you, BBM?

    • Jsilvermist

      Feel the exact same way, installed it back in beta, dropped it within minutes after seeing that. I can hide it easily with gravity box xposed module, but it doesn’t need to be taking up battery instead of using push notifications.

      • Jorge Acosta Gosh

        Is because is not using google cloud to send messages, is using BB servers. (more secure, encryption, etc) The only way to make sure the app is not “erase” from memory is by inserting the icon in there (as adblock plus)

        • Jsilvermist

          You are talking about the messages themselves, I understand it doesn’t use GCM for messages, but I was refering to push notifications saying that you have a message.
          This way instead of running in the background all the time, you would only have to run it when you want to check a message.
          I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to sacrifice battery life to run a messaging program 24/7 just INCASE I might get a message soon.

          • Jorge Acosta Gosh

            Is using push notifications, but you need a program that is able to receive those notifications… hence the icon in there, is not consuming much battery or cpu power, you can check it by yourself. Other push apps are using GCM, is a system app, it does not need to be shown in status bar, but is running all the time

  • Steven Rodriguez

    Tried the Beta APK, looks like its stuck on “Setting up BBM”, Maybe they locked it per BlackBerry ID.

  • Luka Mlinar

    I don’t get it. They plan to survive solely on BBM? How’s that gonna work?

  • bluebelt

    Are BBM server reliable now ?

    I always have issue with BBM on android. Sometimes message delay is too long between sender & receiver. Sometimes the server reject my message, I had to re-send. Sometimes offline message didn’t work, my message pending forever. Aaarrgh….

    Really not worth the headache, I’ll stick with google Hangout. More reliable.

  • hyesyadek

    Why when I accept a bbm friend request, it does not go to the contact list??