BlackBerry on Friday started rolling out an update to its BBM apps for Android, BlackBerry 10, and iOS with a new Private Chat feature.
The latest BlackBerry Messenger build version 184.108.40.206 is currently available fromGoogle Play India. The Canadian company also says the update to BBM with new features and improvements including Private Chat is also rolling out to the BlackBerry 10 and iOS apps, but while the updated BB10 app is available on BlackBerry World, theApp Store still lists an older BBM app version that was last updated in April.
The BBM update primarily adds the Privacy and Control Subscription, which replaces the existing Timed and Retracted Messages Subscription. The most notable of the features offered in the subscription is Private Chat, which allows people to have a private chat without contact names or new message notification, and the chat also self-destructs after a short time. The company explains that while this is similar to Timed Messages, if a user takes a screenshot of the private conversation it cannot be attributed to either party, as there are no contact names. To remind users, screenshots can be taken of Timed Messages, but the sender gets a notification.
The previously offered Timed Messages or Retracted Messages features meant for specific chats still remain, while a new Edit Message feature has also been added. The Edit Message option will allow users to retract, change, and re-send the message. The Privacy and Control Subscription will be available at $0.99 (approximately Rs. 63) per month and the current Timed and Retracted Messages subscribers will be automatically upgraded to this bundle.
Apart from these common changes across the Android, BB10, and iOS apps,BlackBerry has also completely revamped the Android app with a Material Design makeover. It brings an all new look and introduces new colour theme to BBM. Some of the other additions in the update include the new hide unused sticker packs; Quote Message, which will allow to reference and reply to a previous message in the chat; tablet support, and landscape mode support. The new update also enables users to update their status from the feed. For iOS users, BlackBerry has also updated the way font sizes are rendered on iOS. On BlackBerry 10, the BBM app also gets the Quote Message feature, the ability to update status from the Feeds tab, and the ability to manage sticker collections.
In March, BlackBerry announced that its BBM app for Android touched the 100 million downloads or installs milestone since its launch on the platform in October 2013.