The wait is almost over. BlackBerry announced today that BlackBerry Messenger will land on Android and iOS smartphones this weekend, launching on September 21 and 22, respectively. BBM was previously available exclusively on the Canadian company’s own smartphones, but will be offered as a free download through the App Store and Google Play.
At its height, BBM was one of the most popular messaging services around, but the rise of competitors like Google Hangouts, iMessage and Facebook Chat all pose a serious threat to BlackBerry’s service. In response, BBM will offer way more than just regular text chat. You can instantly share photos and voice memos through the app, create group chats, and update your status and profile picture. BBM already boasts 60 million users on BlackBerry devices alone, and that number is expected to grow as the service expands to Android and iOS.
BlackBerry made headlines earlier today, officially announcing the Z30, a 5-inch tablet running BB10.2 OS, which will hit stores starting next week. The new smartphone comes with a 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED display, a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a MicroSD card slot, and NFC.