BlackBerry rolls out BBM 2.0 with voice calling, Channels, location sharing and more


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.