BlackBerry is still working on adding voice and video
calling to BlackBerry Messenger
for iOS and Android, the company has revealed. The free calling over voice and video will be making its way to the app during 2014, along with a number of other additions, such as BBM Channels and what the company claims to be faster and easier sharing of content and locations.
A company blog post
states that BBM Voice, the voice and video service already available for BlackBerry 10 devices
, will be a free addition to the app. Much like other messaging systems, the voice calls will take place over Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection, rather than use the phone system itself.
BBM Channels, a recent launch
on BlackBerry devices, will let users and companies create individual channels, a publicly-viewable stream of content. Channel owners and followers can start conversations with other followers, with BlackBerry revealing that Tim Hortons, Mercedes-Benz, and the Toronto Raptors have already launched their own channels.
Future updates to BBM chats will include a new set of 100 emoticons, as well as increased options for sharing. Photos, voice notes and other items will be easily shareable, with a timer-based location sharing allowing contacts to temporarily know a user's location, with the details disappearing after a specified time.
BlackBerry did not reveal exactly when the updates will appear in the app, except that the changes will take place in "the next couple of months."