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BBM Android and iPhone app update adds voice chat

BBM for Apple, Android and BlackBerry is updating today to add free voice chat and more. Click here to learn about the new features.

Talk is cheap, or in the case of BBM, it's free. The BlackBerry Messenger app for Apple, Android and BlackBerry phones is updating today to add free voice chat.

The update adds BBM Voice, so you can make free phone calls over Wi-Fi or your data connection to your BBM contacts using BlackBerry, Android and iOS anywhere in the world. Calls are free, but may use your data allowance if you're not on Wi-Fi.

What's next in the BBM box of delights? BBM Channels are like forums, where you can chat with strangers and keep up to date on your favourite subjects, brands and hobbies.

If you want to let someone know where you are, you can show them your location on a map. Using Glympse, the location sharing feature has a timer so you can set how long people can see where you are, before your location becomes private again when the timer runs out.

And lest we forget good old-fashioned messaging, new features for written chats include the ability to attach pictures, voice notes, calendar events or contacts, as well as the option to send files from Dropbox to your contacts.

And there's loads of new emoticons too. Smiley face.

You can download BBM for your iPhone or Android phone from iTunes or Google Play. Is BBM the best or do other apps like WhatsApp or iMessage do the same thing better? Tell me your thoughts in the comments.