Following a minor refresh recently which brought out a handy new Find Friends feature, Canada’s struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry is today rolling out a new BBM version 2.0. The release contains a few new features such as free voice calling, BBM Channels, Dropbox integration, location sharing and more.

The free update is rolling out today so keep an eye on the App Store and don’t panic if it’s not live yet as these things take time to propagate.

The full breakdown is right below the fold…

Akin to Skype, FaceTime Audio, Viber and other voice-calling applications, VoIP calling in BBM 2.0 requires BBM Voice on both ends, a data plan and Wi-Fi or data coverage. The feature is available via a new green icon in the top righthand corner of a chat conversation.

BBM 2.0 for Android (voice calling)

BBM Channels, another addition, is basically a group chatting feature which not only lets up to fifty people participate in multi-party conversations, but also create Channels with specific topics based on their interests, ranging from products, hobbies and sports to entertainment, fashion, cars and more.

“By posting to their channel, channel owners immediately reach their subscribers with a message that can spark discussions,” the company underscored. Ordinary users, brands and businesses can all create Channels around topics, BlackBerry said.

Here’s a nice promo clip.

Thanks to Dropbox integration, folks can exchange cloud files between themselves.

Also new: location sharing. It works similar to Apple’s Find My Friends feature as you can pick specific contacts to share your location with, all in real-time.

Privacy freaks can opt for time-limited location sharing, so when the timer runs out their location is private again. Location sharing in BBM 2.0 is powered by Glympse.

Also, this:

With this new version of BBM there’s more to chat about because you can quickly share a pic, voice note or file with your contacts. Snap a photo or pick one from your gallery; touch and hold to send a voice note; send a calendar event or contact.

Last but not least, BBM 2.0 has added over a hundred fun emoticons that can be used to spice up your text chats with popular mood icons.

Here’s the full BBM 2.0 changelog.

  • BBM Voice – Free voice calls between BBM contacts
  • BBM Channels – join conversations happening now with BBM users, brands, businesses, communities and more
  • Faster, easier sharing – quickly add photos, voice notes, files and attachments to your BBM chats from your smartphone or Dropbox account
  • Location sharing – Share your location temporarily, powered by Glympse. Your location is updated live on a map, right in BBM. When the timer runs out your location is private again.
  • 100 new emoticons – Get your point across with great new emojis
  • Find Friends – Quickly find and add new BBM contacts from your smartphone contact list
  • Larger BBM Groups – You can now chat and share with 50 people in your BBM Group

BBM 2.0 is rolling out today so grab it later free of charge in the App Store.

  • Jonathan

    What’s BBM? 😛

    • Anmol Malhotra

      Who cares? 😛

    • Yash Gorana

      Niggaberry Messenger.

      Hope it helps.

      • Hermès Vainstar Chu

        that is uncalled for

  • Matt Collin

    Oh Why it is so ugly?!! I wish Blackberry will adopt iOS7 Design but they just use their design which far more ugly

    • Jonathan

      I’ll see if I can make a theme to make it look like iOS 7.

    • Fred

      Go usr whatsapp if you like garbage os 7

      • Matt Collin

        I have already got whatsapp but thanks for suggestion!!

    • Guest

      ‘Cause it’s not a fugly flatass like iOS 7…

    • mav3rick

      Is there any “design” in blinding white screens everywhere, neon colors and fisher price icons…?

  • Anmol Malhotra

    Still not available in India.. But who cares? :/

  • mordechai eliyahu

    Not compatable with ios 5… And the reason why I am not upgrading to ios 7 and jailbreaking is bec the app mrnumber that does a reverse caller id for cell phones is not compatable with IOS7

    • Anmol Malhotra

      Or you are using iphone 3gs? 😛

      • mordechai eliyahu

        Nope I’m using a iPhone 4s

  • Maze

    Looks like interesting new features. But man this company is the definition of too little, too late.

  • Nice, a cross platform messaging app that hasn’t gone the fugly iOS 7 route. Think it’s time to say goodbye to Viber….

    • mav3rick

      Interesting why Japanese acquired them…