For a long time, the BlackBerry Messenger service and application was an exclusive feature for BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry jealously guarded their proprietary instant messaging application and kept it for BlackBerry devices only. And for a time, this policy kept people with their BlackBerry devices until other developers across the world started writing and sharing their own instant messaging client. We've seen dozens come and go, but the big name have stuck around and are almost platform agnostic – that is, you can get WhatsApp on the iPhone, Android, Symbian, BlackBerry platforms. The instant messaging scene had changed and BlackBerry were being left behind, so BlackBerry opened up the system and it has been available for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone platforms for some time now.
The news today is that BlackBerry are working on an updated version of the BlackBerry Messenger to bring it in line with Google's Material Design user interface guidelines. The application is currently still in beta and these features may be changed between now and the application being ready for release. The image at the bottom of the post shows the new user interface, which has been brought bang up to date by the BBM Development team. BlackBerry have announced the update to BBM on their blog and said this on the matter: "We've redesigned BBM for Android from the ground up, using material design principles as inspiration. This means a more colorful, more eye-popping, and easier-to-use BBM experience that's brand-new, yet very familiar." It is not the first complete redesign of the BlackBerry Messenger wheel, but from the still image below, it looks great!
At the same time, BlackBerry introduced a number of new features into BlackBerry Messenger including private chats, where contact names and notifications are deactivated and the chat deleted once it has ended. Another new feature is the ability to edit your message and publish status updates in the BlackBerry Messenger feed. If you are interested in trying the new beta for BlackBerry Messenger, you'll need to sign up for test at the Blackberry Beta Zone and once approved, you will be able to download and install the new application.