BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY) announced that it will be releasing BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, for iOS and Android devices this summer, and gave several other updates at its annual BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando.
“We are not only still here, we’re firing on all cylinders as a company,” BlackBerry President & CEO Thorsten Heins said at the event. The company formerly known as RIM made several announcements at the conference. Here are the top three takeaways:
BlackBerry Messenger Coming To iOS And Android Devices
The most unexpected announcement was that BlackBerry is releasing BBM to iOS and Android devices some time this summer. BBM will compete with Facebook Messenger and Apple’s iMessage to take control of users’ messaging habits outside of texting. Features mentioned by BlackBerry include multiperson chats and faster message delivery.
BlackBerry Z10 To Receive BB10 Update
Heins said that an update to the BB10 operating system is immediately available. BB10.1 will be rolled out to most owners of the BlackBerry Z10 over the next week.
New features in the update include a BlackBerry Hub for organizing all messages, improved cursor control, several camera improvements and the ability to change notification LED colors.
Lower-End Smartphone For Emerging Markets: The BlackBerry Q5
BlackBerry announced a lower-end QWERTY keyboard smartphone created for emerging markets. The BlackBerry Q5 will run on the company’s BB10 operating system. The phone include a wider keyboard than previous models with larger spaces between the keys, as well as a video chat option. It will be available in black, white and red this July.
BlackBerry COO Kristian Tear also announced the launch of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10.1 at the event. The upgrade will be free for existing license-holders of the synchronization service and will allow for full integration of iOS and Android devices to help administrative professionals manage the current trend of employees who BYOD, or bring your own device to work.
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