BlackBerry launched an all new version of its mobile messaging service, BBM, today, which finally brings its iPhone and Android clients up to par with the app created for BlackBerry’s own smartphones. The new version adds voice and video chatting, picture sharing, and other features that make it a reasonable competitor to other popular services, such as Google’s Hangouts software.
With 2.0, however, some BlackBerry-exclusive features, such as Channels, have made their way onto the third party platforms. Channels is BBM-exclusive functionality that replicates a bit of Facebook and Twitter, and goes a step beyond. Channels can be created for brands or topics, and you can subscribe to these channels and participate in conversations held between other subscribers, as well as the channel originator.
BlackBerry added sharing options, both for pictures and for other documents, making BBM attractive for users who need to share a lot of attachments on the go, including support for sharing directly from DropBox. Other fun features include a new location sharing service thanks to Glympse integration – a new Glympse icon at the bottom of your BBM screen lets you send your location through a BBM chat, and let the receiver track your physical location for a predefined amount of time.
The new 2.0 software should be live now in some app stores, hitting others over the next day or so.