BlackBerry has been struggling for a while now, but today the company announced a team up with certain Android OEMs that could be another step in bringing it back to its former glory. According to a new BlackBerry press release, BBM will soon come pre-installed on a number of Android-based devices launching in Indonesia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and India. So, even though BlackBerry as a mobile platform is still in a period of restructuring, BBM seems to be a relative hit with consumers – or at least popular enough to warrant being installed on a variety of Android devices out of the box.
Specifically, the OEMs BlackBerry is working with include Be, Brightstar, Celkon, EVERCOSS, IMO, Micromax, Mito, Snexian, Spice, TECNO, TiPhone, and Zen. Phones from all of these companies will have BBM front and center from the get go, so this could potentially be a big win for BlackBerry. Looking at a run down of BBM features, it's easy to see why the chat platform has become popular with consumers. It offers "Delivered" and "Read" statuses for messages you send, and also features message-in-progress notifications, so you can see when someone is in the process of replying to you.
It also does away with the notion that you have to give our your email or phone number to chat with someone. Instead, BBM users are given an individual PIN number they can hand out to the people they want to chat with, keeping their phone numbers or email addresses private. BBM users can chat with up to 30 people at a time through a feature called BBM Group, which is likely a pretty big draw for those who need to share documents or photos with a bunch of people and would to see their reactions in real-time.
In its announcement, BlackBerry also briefly discussed new features that will soon be coming to BBM on Android and iOS. One such feature is BBM Channels, which allows users to join groups of people who share similar interests and connect with them through the messaging platform. Just as well, BBM on Android will soon be getting support for voice calling and video calling, though no concrete release date was mentioned. BBM is available now on the Google Play Store, so if it sounds like something you'd be interested in using, it might not be a bad idea to give it a download.