BBM 7 is a major update to the ever popular BlackBerry Messenger app. The BlackBerry Messenger app offers communication between BlackBerry devices including the sharing of files and group chat. Call it the original and best whatsapp and a major contributing factor to RIM still hanging in there in advance of the BB10 launch on January 30th. The new version adds voip calls to your BBM friends including the following updates:

  • Multi-tasking with Split-screen feature – Customers can do more while they talk, such as check other BBM text chats, check email, or navigate to other apps while engaged on a BBM Voice call. They can start a call in an instant, and switch between texting and talking, or text and talk at the same time. They can also for example, send a picture to a contact while they are talking with them.
  • Clear Visual Indicator – Customers can see when contacts are available for a voice call.
  • Convenient Compatibility with Accessories – Customers can use their favorite accessories, such as a Bluetooth or wired headset, or use the BlackBerry smartphone’s speakerphone.
  • 16 New Emoticons – Available in the final software released today, customers will see a slate of new emoticons offer them fresh, fun ways to express themselves in text chats.
  • Direct BBM Update Notification – BBM will now notify a customer when there is an update from within the app, and allow them to download it immediately from inside the app.
  • Simple BlackBerry ID Synchronization – A customer’s BBM profile, Groups and Contacts are now linked to their BBID for easy backup and restore. The data will also carry over when they move to BlackBerry 10.

BBM7 shows that RIM are pulling together for the full launch of the new BB10 OS and devices. Certainly adding the voice call options should not only aid in keeping existing customers happy until BB10 arrives but also might attract back enterprise customers who not only need security (a long time advantage of RIM) but could do with keeping their costs down with the free voip calls. It’s not a major jump to imagine that when BB10 launches they may update BBM to include video calls too. You can download the app here: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/3729/