BBM users on the Android platform have reason to cheer this morning: BlackBerry appears to be close to releasing an update with BBM Channels and Voice support.
According to a number of reports, BlackBerry has released a BBM 220.127.116.11 to its private Beta Zone users, offering a first glimpse of the aforementioned features. The company said it would roll out Channels, Voice and Video support to BBM for iOS and Android in the months following their initial release, and we’re approaching that timeline.
BBM Channels recently went live for BlackBerry 10 users, allowing users, brands and companies to create spaces to post content and engage in discussion with other users. Interim CEO, John Chen, recently said he would be pushing to monetize the BBM space, and Channels is likely the greatest area of interest.
BBM Voice is another important addition for the company, bringing VoIP calling to all users of the chat service. BlackBerry touts its IP-based Voice feature as being the sharpest and highest-quality in the business, but there are many competitors out there, from Skype to Viber to Google Hangouts to the recently-launched FaceTime Audio on iOS devices.
There’s no word on when the public release will come to Android and iOS, but it shouldn’t be too long now.