Research In Motion (RIM) has launched its new BlackBerry Messenger version 7, which will allow customers to make free voice calls to their BBM contacts around the world over a Wi-Fi connection.
The new version is a free update for the globally popular mobile social network, which provides a fast, convenient and inexpensive way to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues.
The Beta version of BBM 7 with the new BBM Voice feature was made available to the public through BlackBerry Beta Zone on November 14, 2012.
BBM carried out a survey on the Beta users, with over 80 percent of testers saying they were likely to recommend BBM version 7 and 90 percent saying they would use BBM Voice to keep in touch while travelling. With half of BBM customers having international contacts, BBM version 7 will now benefit them with free Wi-Fi calls.
T.A. McCann, Vice President of BBM and Social Communities at RIM said: “BBM began as a convenient and effective business messaging tool, and today it is an essential part of daily communications for customers around the world.
“Now, with BBM version 7, customers have a new option: they can text and talk with their BBM contacts near and far, for free. With the integrated experience, we extend the core features of reliable, real-time engagement to include voice calling and take BBM to the next level.”
Apart from the voice option, BBM 7 allows multi-tasking, with a split-screen feature where customers can do more while they talk, such as check other BBM text chats, check email or navigate to other apps.
BBM 7 also comes with 16 new emoticons, offering customers new ways to express themselves in text chats. BBM will now notify a customer when there is an update from within the app, and allow them to download it immediately from inside the app.
BBM 7 with BBM Voice is now available for all BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 6 OS or higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS early next year.
The BBM 7 software update can be downloaded for free at appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/3729/.