BBM Android app enters beta testing ahead of imminent launch

The BBM iOS and Android apps could be with us in the very near future as the eagerly awaited BBM Android app enters beta testing ahead of launch.

With the company’s free to use messaging service confirmed to be going cross platform back at BlackBerry Live in May, the BBM Andriod app now looks to be edging closer to reality with a number of users invited to partake in a BBM Android beta test.

“If you have an Android device (ICS/4.x.x ), we invite you to sign up for the BBM beta and help us test BBM on your Android device before it gets released worldwide later this summer,” a statement from the company told specially invited users.

With those keen to add the WhatsApp rival to their Android phone being forced to wait until a current undisclosed date this summer, BlackBerry has confirmed that the beta programme is exclusive to friends and families of employees.

“The BBM beta for Android users is a very limited program,” an official BlackBerry spokesperson confirmed. “That includes BlackBerry employees and some invited friends and family.”

While BlackBerry has remained relatively tight lipped about when the promised BBM iOS and Android apps will make it to the realms of reality, last month it was suggested that the service would not be expanding cross platform until September.

“The service is coming to Android this summer. But summer as per North America, where it remains till September,” Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director of BlackBerry India, stated in a recent interview.

With the new BBM app confirmed for iPhone and Android smartphone users, TrustedReviews exclusive revealed back in May that the Canadian manufacturer would not be rolling out the fee-free messaging service to iPad or tablet users.

“At this point it is iOS and Android, and that’s iOS phones running iOS 6 and higher,” Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of the BlackBerry Software Portfolio said.

Speaking directly with TrustedReviews during BlackBerry Live, he added: “Smartphone is our real focus and again it comes back to what BBM is. If you look BBM and the engagement and the activity, it’s because it is mobile, because people are on the go.

“When you start looking at tablets, computers and other screens, the usage model changes and behaviour changes. For us right now the absolute focus is getting BBM onto smartphones.”

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