BBM for Android and iOS has already been downloaded tens of millions of times, though the software isn’t as robust as it is on a BlackBerry 10 smartphone. That’s going to change in 2014 as new features roll out for BBM on both platforms.
In an update posted on BlackBerry’s blog recently, BBM’s product manager, Sean Hungerford confirmed that iOS and Android users will soon be able to place free voice calls anywhere in the world using BBM. That’s probably not enough of a reason to install the software, considering Skype, iMessage, Hangouts and other clients already offer this experience, but it will at least be another free option. Additionally, BlackBerry Channels, which serve as communities on BBM that you can subscribe to based on your interests, will also launch on Android and iOS next year.
Hungerford also promises that BBM will offer faster and easier sharing of voice notes, location, photos and more, in addition to new emoticons. All of the new features should help attract fresh BBM users, though BlackBerry should also see a boost from contracts with phone makers such as LG.