john chen apple watch
BlackBerry CEO John Chen. The company has released a version of its BBM messaging app for the Apple Watch. Reuters

BlackBerry has launched a version of BBM for the Apple Watch. The release brings basic messaging support to the wrist, ahead of the holiday season where thousands of gift givers will want to put their new gadget through its paces. BlackBerry has even beaten Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to the Apple Watch.

The release is part of a push by BlackBerry to get customers using its services, regardless of platform. Although BBM has long been available for iOS, the company's expansion of the messaging platform onto watchOS reaffirms its drive to make the messaging service available to as many people as possible.

In keeping with this theme, the Canadian smartphone maker also recently unveiled a new BlackBerry called the Priv, the company's first phone to use Google's Android platform. The Priv aims to combine Android with "the best of BlackBerry security and productivity," according to CEO John Chen. Android holds over 82 percent of the global smartphone market share according to IDC, so the move makes sense for a company that wants to be providing services wherever the mass market may be.

blackberry apple watch
A screenshot of the new BBM Apple Watch app in action. BlackBerry

It has not been an easy ride for BlackBerry recently. A video that went viral showed Chen struggling to use the Priv. The Android device was announced in the company's second quarter 2016 earnings press release, which was a bad quarter for BlackBerry: losses excluding some items were 13 cents per share, or $84 million, in the period ending August 29.