With the launch of BlackBerry's third BlackBerry 10 device, the BlackBerry Q5 in the Indian market on Tuesday, the company also made an announcement related to the rollout of voice on BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) on its legacy devices.
With an intent to reiterate its commitment to devices running older versions of its operating system, BlackBerry announced that the update to its BlackBerry Messenger app, BBM 7 that adds BBM Voice is now available for devices running OS 5.0, OS 6.0 and OS 7.0.
BlackBerry had launched BBM Voice on BlackBerry OS 6.0 and later devices in December 2012 and had promised that it would update BBM for BlackBerry OS 5 customers, in early 2013 bringing the Voice functionality.
The BBM Voice feature allows users to make free calls to other BBM contacts over Wi-Fi.
Some of the other features that have been added to BBM 7 are multi-tasking with split screen. With this new feature, users can check BBM text chats, emails or even navigate other apps while being on a call. Another feature added with the new BBM 7 is that BBM users can check when a contact is available for a voice chat. The new version also adds BlackBerry ID Integration which is optional and simplifies OS and device upgrades. A BlackBerry ID is required for BBM Voice and this can be set up when upgrading the app. The data will also be carried over when a user moves to BlackBerry 10.The updated version of BBM 7 can be downloaded from BlackBerry World.
With the update, BlackBerry wants to give users of its existing budget devices a reason to stay with the brand.
Meanwhile, the company has expanded its BlackBerry 10 ecosystem with the launch of BlackBerry Q5 in India on Tuesday that comes with a price tag of Rs. 24,990.
The Q5 features a 3.1-inch touchscreen IPS LCD display much like the Q10. It is powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor with 2GB RAM. The smartphone packs in 8GB of internal storage, which can be expanded by up to 32GB via microSD card. The phone sports a 5.0-megapixel rear camera and 2.0-megapixel front camera. The Q5 also comes with 2,180mAh battery. It will come in three colour options - Black, Pure White, and Pure Red and Pink.