In their second major update in two months, BlackBerry has completely overhauled the user interface of their popular instant messaging service BlackBerry Messenger. The changes include a number of new features and improvements to their UI, along with other tweaks and new features for users of the Android messaging platform. The new update also aims to overhaul the overall user experience of the app, intending to make the messaging service "more fun and friendly to use," along with debuting improvements to its privacy and security settings.
Users will find many changes to the service after the update, which includes new features such as numbered badges so the number of unread messages can be seen without opening the app. Those who use their device for shopping or reading will notice that the experience is now improved and optimized with a new web view UI, while the Discover feature has also been overhauled. The latter is a section in the messenger service that allows users to subscribe to channels featuring games, videos, shopping, and other topics. It also allows users to interact in new ways, participate in polls, and share their favorite brands. Last month's major update, which was mainly for the iOS app, also brought some major changes aiming to make the service more user-friendly. BlackBerry also introduced a Chatbot API which allows channel owners to interact more efficiently with their subscribers. Integration with Google Analytics was also introduced as a new feature, allowing partners access to in-depth and accurate data.
BlackBerry have faced stiff competition from many instant messaging services such as iMessage and WhatsApp in recent years, and have introduced many new features in an effort to keep up with the competition, including free video and voice calls with other users on the service. The Canadian tech giant has seen demand for their devices drop sharply in recent years, although their software has enjoyed increased sales. Their latest update to the messaging service was made available through the Google Play Store last week, although it still hasn't been pushed out to some users and is currently only available on Android.