RIM have today announced that they're updating their super-popular BBM messaging service to version 7, with the update bringing with it the new BBM Voice feature; the ability to hold free voice calls over a Wi-Fi connection.
Offering a split screen feature that lets BBM users talk and text at the same time, it's a smart update to the inexpensive service. BBM's free text messaging options have made it one of the most popular instant messaging clients on mobile, and free calls between BBM users will only boost its popularity.
"BBM is the quick, easy way to stay connected to the people that matter to you, and with today's announcement we're expanding the capabilities of the service for deeper social engagement and even greater collaboration, beginning with voice functionality," said T.A. McCann, Vice President of BBM and Social Communities at RIM.
"The new BBM Voice feature is for when you're travelling and you want to call home without worrying about phone charges. It's for when you have news you can't wait to share, for quickly explaining complicated details, and collaborating with colleagues. Whenever your ideas are too big for text, there's BBM Voice."
The new BBM Voice feature is currently available in Beta for BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 6 OS or higher, with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS at a future date. The Beta can be downloaded for free from BlackBerry Beta Zone. Customers can sign up to BlackBerry Beta Zone at www.BlackBerry.com/betazone.