Aside from announcing the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 10, RIM is also announcing a new add-on feature of its BlackBerry Messager (BBM) service dubbed BBM Voice. This new feature comes with the version 7 of BBM which is also available now as a free update. BBM Voice lets you make free voice calls to other BBM customers over a Wi-Fi connection. That’s free and covers worldwide BBM customers. BBM Voice can also be simultaneously used with texting. BBM Voice’s major features include;
- 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.
BBM Version 7 together with BBM Voice is currently available in Beta right now. It works with BlackBerry handsets running BlackBerry 6 OS and will later be backward-compatible. You can grab BB 7 with BBM Voice by signing up on the BlackBerry Beta Zone at www.blackberry.com/betazone.