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BlackBerry Messenger Beta Starts Rolling Out for iOS and Android Devices
The beta will require iOS 6.0 or later, according to Vivek Bhardwaj, the head of the BlackBerry Software Portfolio who spoke to Trusted Reviews a couple of weeks ago. Announced in May for a summer release, BBM is expected to hit Google Play and the App Store sometime next month, although there has been no official date confirmation as of yet following an erroneous announcement from T-Moble UK having claimed a June 27 launch date.
BBM is the proprietary messaging solution among BlackBerry devices and requires the use of a "PIN" – an eight character hexadecimal identification number that is uniquely assigned to every device. Currently there is no information about how BlackBerry users will add iOS or Android devices to their contacts, though the most obvious solution would be through either a phone number or e-mail address.
This is the first time that BlackBerry software has been available on other smartphones and marks a radical shift in the management of the Canadian-based manufacturer. From 2012 onwards, BlackBerrys have gradually been dropping in popularity – the latest statistics show that BlackBerry OS worldwide accounted for just 3.7% of smartphone usage in July 2013, compared with 38.3% for Android, 24.8% for iOS and 14.4% for Nokia's S40 platform.