RIM’s famous BlackBerry Messenger will soon be up against the Apple’s iMessage with the launch of iOS 5 this fall, so in a bid to maintain interest in its popular messaging service, RIM has just launched BBM 6. Available to users running BlackBerry OS 4.5 and above, BBM 6 introduces in-app chat for supported third-party applications, and more sharing options.
The update is available today, and initially, a select few apps will support the service including Foursquare, Poynt and Wikitude. In addition to in-app messaging, version 6 will also allow you to share your location, links, calendar appointments and even podcasts with your friends. You can also use the app send SMS messages to friends who aren’t subscribed to BBM — incorporating all of your messaging needs into one app.
One of the most exciting things about BBM 6 is its potential integration with BlackBerry games, and TechRadar claims we can expect more then just messaging:
You can also expect to see BBM chat in some games, with achievements and trophies added to your BBM profile so your friends can see what games you’re playing (and how terrible you are at them).
Along with proof of your gaming prowess, you’ll be able to add a status update to your profile.
TechRadar also speculates that BBM 6 could be the “shiny new social thing” that RIM teased earlier this week, however, with a BlackBerry media event scheduled for next week, rumor has it this will be related to hardware.
There’s still no cross-platform messaging in BBM 6, I’m afraid, which may never be introduced to the service. However, it seems it should be if RIM wants to keep BBM alive while third-party messaging services — such as WhatsApp — continue to take off.
Have you downloaded BBM 6 yet? Which apps do you want to see with support for in-app messaging first?