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BlackBerry to make BBM version for Gingerbread powered Android phones


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BlackBerry is working on a version of BBM for Android phones powered by the Gingerbread build of the open source OS. The messaging app will thus be available for the 21% of Android users still using Android 2.3.3-2.3.7. The app is now in external beta testing and is expected to be launched in February. BlackBerry says that it is excited to have millions of additional Android users using BBM. Currently, the app requires subscribers to have Android 4.0 or higher.

On its blog, BlackBerry indicates that it is offering this version of BBM in response to demand for it from those Android users sporting a Gingerbread powered handset. While the post didn't mention it, we assume that the BBM for Gingerbread users will also offer BBM Voice, BBM Channels and BBM Video. These will eventually be offered to the original BBM for Android and BBM for iOS apps.

BBM Voice allows users to make calls to other BBM members for free around the world. BBM Channels is a group of discussion and chat rooms, each covering a particular subject. BBM subscribers will be able to open their own rooms featuring their own topics, and corporations will also be sponsoring rooms of their own. BBM Video will allow subscribers to video chat with each other.


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