Yesterday May 8th, BlackBerry quietly pushed a build to select Beta Zone members testing a new version of the BBM application. BBM 10.3 v10.22.9/10.23.10/10.24.10 was subsequently released for trail, and there was no change-log to be found. Kinda like that time we got a BBM Sticker Beta update, and they didn’t announce that the file transfer size had also been increased to 16mb.

Users searched through the application and have found a few highly requested additions have been added into the mix. I’ve attached the video above if you want to see some the new changes for yourself. I also put together a would-be change-log for some of the changes on this beta build…I’ll repost them here:

  • BBM Landscape support
  • Pictures can be added within BBM Group Chats (in the conversation thread)
  • Have keyboard be “Always On”
  • Slightly larger emotions
  • New stickers packs
  • Modified, in BBM Instant Previews
  • Slightly refined header for BBM Channels
  • And more subtle refinements

An interesting occurrence within the test build that I could not capture well in the video was the in-app instant previews. Looks like, as opposed to our white instant preview bar that we see come down from the top. BlackBerry is working to have those previews show up INSIDE BBM, while in BBM.

While you’re inside a BBM chat with someone, and you get a BBM from someone else, you have a grayed out preview embedded above your current conversation. This allows you to easily jump in between conversations in a real time way. Instead of stopping to  send minimal replies. This also works across BBM not just in 1:1 chats, but in groups discussions as well.

This is honestly a much more realistic interaction. While I like being able to instant reply for small messages. Sometimes I want to be able to attach an image, send a sticker, or share a drop box link, and I can’t do that with the actionable notifications. It’s all about smart integration, these new in-app previews remind me why I use BBM so much. Hats off to the BBM team, subtle refinements like this make the BBM Experience top notch.

What else have you spotted within the latest BBM beta build? Testers be sure to explore and let me know if I missed something!