After months of speculation and rumors, the release date of BBM for Android and iOS has been confirmed by the company itself.
According to BlackBerry, BBM for Android will be available for download this September 21 beginning at 7AM EDT. Your phone needs to be running Android 4.0 or later in order for the app to install. BBM for iPhone will be available for download the day later, September 22 at 12AM midnight. For iPhones the minimum requirement is iOS 6 or above, which basically covers all but the oldest models of the phone.
BBM for Android and iOS will not exactly be on par with the BlackBerry OS versions, which is understandable. For example there is no mention of whether the newly added channels feature will make it to other platforms or not. Other than this one specific feature though iOS and Android users will be available to enjoy everything BBM has to offer. Some of it includes the following.
- BBM Chat – Essentially what the service is aimed at: communication. In addition to simple texts users will be able to share files such as photos and voice notes. There is no mention of whether other formats are supported, especially for Android.
- PIN – Unlike other IM apps, BBM does not require your cellphone number. Each user is assigned a unique PIN code which is then used to add or find friends.
- Group Chat – BBM for iOS and Android will support group chat with a maximum of 30 users.
- Read reports – Though not unique to BBM, the service has made a name for it self through its reliable sent and read reports
When BBM for Android and iOS will arrive on respective app stores, it will face stiff competition from the likes of Viber and WhatsApp which have been cross platform ever since their release. Will BBM be able to make a name for it self on other platforms? Only time will tell.