BBM app on Android and iPhone in testing now

BlackBerry Messenger is being tested by selected family and friends for the iPhone and Android, to BBM without a BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Messenger is in testing for the iPhone and Android phones, with the first members of the public trying out the Android app to chat to BBM buddies without a BlackBerry.

It's still early days, as this first beta test of the Android app only involves BlackBerry employees and some of their friends and family.

Meanwhile, the iOS app for Apple devices is being tested within BlackBerry's walls, and is yet to be tried in the real world.

BlackBerry announced in May that the popular instant messaging service will be available as a free app for iOS and Android devices this summer. We're now well into summer -- you can tell by looking out of the window, right? -- so we're keen to see BBM on Apple devices running iOS 6 software or better, and Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean software.

To start with, BBM on other phones will have basic messaging and group chats. Fancy fripperies like voice calls, screen sharing, and video chat will be added later.

In recent years the rise of even more affordable Android phones and rival IM apps such as WhatsApp and Viber have tempted the BlackBerry faithful away, mainly because those johnny-IM-lately apps work across all devices. BBM only works on BlackBerry, so both you and your friend have to have a BlackBerry. With low-cost Android phones winning over phone fans in droves, they've left BBM behind -- until now, BlackBerry hopes.

Will you come back to BlackBerry Messenger when it hits your Android or iPhone? Is BlackBerry killing the only reason to own a BlackBerry? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

Autoplay: ON Autoplay: OFF