BlackBerry’s handset business might be struggling but its messaging platform is going from strength to strength.
It’s been generally well received since being rolled out to Android and iOS and the BlackBerry team is clearly working hard to make it as good as possible. The latest update is focussed on simplifying the whole experience. Right now sending a friend request largely relies on giving a user your unique pin code, which isn’t always all that memorable. But with the new update you can just email a link over, which they then click on and you’re instantly added to each other’s contact list.
The sign up process has also been simplified. All you need to do is enter your name, email address and create a password and you’re good to go. This won’t affect anyone who already uses BBM but it should make it more appealing to new users.
Other features include 16 new emoticons, to add to the already fairly generous selection. These new ones include a hotdog, maracas, a trio of monkeys and more.
Finally, the ‘Updates’ tab has been renamed to ‘Feeds’, to more accurately describe the content that’s found there, as while it includes photo and status updates from contacts it also includes new content from any BBM channels that you follow.
BBM version 2.2 is out now for Android, so if you haven’t got the update yet head on over to the Play Store and download it. It’s not yet available for iOS devices but BlackBerry promises that it will be here in the ‘coming days’ so keep an eye out.
As for BlackBerry users, you should be getting a BBM update in a couple of weeks, which will apparently include many of these features as well as a few extras which BlackBerry isn’t revealing yet.
With 4G data on the rise, BBM and similar services are becoming all the more useful as you can send and receive messages with no delay. Arguably it’s an even better messaging form than the humble text message, so if you haven’t tried it yet now’s the time.
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