A beta tester for BBM for Android released a YouTube video showing off the latest beta version of the BlackBerry cross-platform messaging client for Android. The functional beta shows that much of Android’s BlackBerry Messenger functionality, but several features are not yet implemented in BBM for Android.
BlackBerry has said it will release a version of BBM for Android and iPhone sometime this summer. This means the company has about 18 days before its self-imposed deadline of Sept. 21 to release BBM for Android and iPhone.
The beta tester uses an HTC First to test BBM for Android, and showcases the app’s ability to add BBM contacts (formerly known as “pins”) with the phone’s near-field communication (NFC) sensor, as well as BBM’s wide range of emoticons. BBM for iPhone and Andriod devices will allow users to send longer than standard text messages (up to 2,000 characters) over a data plan, rather than being charged a premium by a wireless carrier.
The reviewer, from BlackBerryOS.com, noted that BBM for Android can currently be used to attach files -- including pictures and voice notes – but cannot currently share locations or utilize the screen share like users of the BB10 version of the app. The beta tester also noted that the app has brought much of the look of the BlackBerry operating system to Android, predicting that if the app did not maintain its summer release date, the company would likely release it during the BlackBerry Jam Asia event in Hong Kong on Sept. 26 and 27.
BlackBerry is reportedly discussing spinning off BBM from its own division into a separate company, and is also considering a desktop client that would run on Windows 8 and Mac OS X and interact with the Android, iPhone (iOS) and BB10 versions of the app. International interest in the BBM for Android and iPhone release date is high -- a fake version of the app was downloaded over 100,000 times in the Google Play Store before being taken down in June.
Thomas Halleck is a technology reporter for the International Business Times, covering Google, wearables, product reviews, gadget news and more....