BlackBerry announced today a new BlackBerry Messenger update that brings BBM Voice capabilities to BlackBerry OS 5 users. Additionally, it was announced that over 50 million BBM Voice calls have been made to date.

“Our customers around the world have embraced BBM version 7, which has brought BBM to a whole new level, further strengthening the experience of reliable, fast, real-time engagement. By bringing BBM version 7 with BBM Voice to customers running BlackBerry 5 OS smartphones, we really broaden the base of people who can connect with each other, especially in many of our emerging markets where BBM is the leading player,” said T.A. McCann, Vice President of BBM and Social Communities at BlackBerry.

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BBM Voice is pretty stellar. Just today Niko and I had a BBM Voice conversation, which I swear was clearer in quality than a regular phone call. With BBM Voice you can do:

  • 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 their BlackBerry smartphone’s speakerphone.
  • Simple BlackBerry ID Synchronization – Customers can set up BBID to link their BBM profile, Groups and Contacts with the BBID for easy backup and restore. BBID is required for BBM Voice and this can be set up when upgrading. The data will also carry over when they move to BlackBerry® 10.

Download BlackBerry Messenger to take advantage of this amazing feature in BlackBerry World here.