Oh, my! BlackBerry sure is in a picky mood. The once kingly maker of smartphones held its annual BlackBerry Live developers event earlier today and made a number of noticeable announcements.
One of the more remarkable is the news that the company’s BBM online messaging service would soon be available for non-BlackBerry devices for the first time — how times change.
The company shared the details in a press release, which reveals that apps for both iOS and Android would be released later this year that would allow users on these platforms to connect to BBM, which already hosts more than 60 million monthly active customers:
“In the planned initial release, iOS and Android users would be able to experience the immediacy of BBM chats, including multi-person chats, as well as the ability to share photos and voice notes, and engage in BBM Groups, which allows BBM customers to create groups of up to 30 people.”
Obviously, that is all good even if no specific release date is announced for the apps.
But somewhat surprisingly, BlackBerry made no mention of Windows Phone in its press release, or whether the company is planning to offer the similar BBM apps for users on Microsoft’s rising mobile platform. After falling from grace, BlackBerry has been overtaken by Microsoft in market share.
That, however, has not stopped Redmond from launching its Skype app for the BlackBerry 10 OS recently. Nevertheless, it is still early days, and it stands to chance that the company may have more information on this at a later date.
What it did have more information on, though, is about an all new smartphone — the BlackBerry Q5. The device is designed for emerging markets and is said to feature a 3.5 inch screen with a QWRTY keyboard. Pricing and availability details are still under wraps.