BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) buddies can now make free voice calls to each other over a Wi-Fi network, unveiled Research in Motion (RIM) on Wednesday, November 14.
The Canadian smartphone maker and one-time smartphone platform leader is ready to compete with popular free Voice over IP (VoIP) services such as Viber and Skype with the launch of its BlackBerry Messenger 7.
BlackBerry Messenger 7 (BBM 7) boasts a new feature called BlackBerry Messenger Voice (BBM Voice) that allows BlackBerry users worldwide to call each other for free over a Wi-Fi connection.
RIM said Blackberry Messenger Voice provides a split-screen view for talking and typing simultaneously, the ability to make calls with other apps running in the background, and a call back feature that ignores calls with a text message.
“BBM is the quick, easy way to stay connected to the people that matter to you, and with today’s announcement we’re expanding the capabilities of the service for deeper social engagement and even greater collaboration, beginning with voice functionality,” said T.A. McCann, vice president, Social Communities, BBM, RIM.
“The new BBM Voice feature is for when you’re travelling and you want to call home without worrying about phone charges. It’s for when you have news you can’t wait to share, for quickly explaining complicated details, and collaborating with colleagues. Whenever your ideas are too big for text, there’s BBM Voice.”
BlackBerry Messenger 7 Beta is available for BlackBerry phones running BlackBerry 6 OS or higher.
Image: faytoday, via Flickr (CC)