BlackBerry beta testing BBM for Android

The Android version of BlackBerry Messenger has been doled out to beta testers.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

BlackBerry has an updated version of its BBM Android app going through the beta testing process.

A BlackBerry spokesperson confirmed to CNET on Thursday that the company has restarted its beta program for the Android version of BlackBerry Messenger.

Based on a series of e-mails sent to blog site, apparently from the beta testers, the new version includes a few changes over its predecessor.

Overall, the new interface is more polished. A new welcome screen now pops up to explain the app notifications. The status bar's persistent notification can be disabled. And several bug fixes are also part of the package.

No details were available as to a potential launch date. BlackBerry has been under the gun to release its BBM for Android and iOS apps ever since a snafu stifled the official launch almost two weeks ago.

An unreleased version of BBM for Android somehow leaked online, soaking up more than 1.1 million downloads within just eight hours. However, that version had a glitch that created a spike in data traffic and affected BlackBerry on the back end. As a result, BlackBerry put the brakes on the official rollout of BBM for Android and for iOS.

Those eager to download either app can check on the launch status through BlackBerry's official blog, the BBM Web site, and the BBM Twitter feed.

Updated 1:50 p.m. PTwith information from BlackBerry.

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