BlackBerry Messenger gets support for voice chats over Wi-Fi

RIM's instant messaging service has morphed into a voice-over-IP service for its users who are connected via Wi-Fi.

BlackBerry Voice.
BlackBerry Voice. RIM

BlackBerry Messenger is adding voice call support, Research In Motion announced today.

Upon downloading the free BlackBerry Messenger update, customers will find that they can place voice calls to other BBM customers whenever they're on a Wi-Fi connection. In order to connect to BlackBerry Voice, customers must already be a BlackBerry service plan customer. According to RIM, the calls can be placed at no charge.

The new feature allows users to switch between talking and texting at will. In addition, RIM says that customers will be able to text message and call at the same time. BlackBerry Voice has a visual indicator that tells customers when a call can be placed.

BlackBerry Voice is currently in beta, and bundled as part of BBM Version 7. BlackBerry service customers can download the update now from the BlackBerry Beta Zone. The software only works on BlackBerry 6 OS or higher. BlackBerry 5 OS will get the feature "at a future date."

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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