BlackBerry has started testing out versions of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) client for Android and iOS with a select group of people, suggesting that the full release for each platform is just around the corner.
The company has promised repeatedly to deliver the cross-platform versions of the software before the end of summer, and it seems to be sticking to schedule, with knowledge of a private beta and screenshots leaking today.
Invites were reportedly being sent out to Beta Zone members, but if you were hoping to dash over there and get in on the action, then you’re out of luck.
A BlackBerry spokesman confirmed the situation to The Next Web:
“BlackBerry has begun internal testing of BBM on Android and iOS devices. We invited our employees to nominate friends and family to participate in a limited Android beta. Those slots are now full.”
Still, with testing now underway, a slightly wider beta and/or a full release can’t be too far away.
While the move will bring the chat and video client to a wider audience, it’s also a potentially risky move on BlackBerry’s part. With initial response to its handsets more closely characterized by the word ‘solid’ than ‘dazzling’, key services such as this remain exclusive lures to entice people over to BlackBerry 10 devices. With it now going to Android and iOS, that’s one less reason that you have to buy a BlackBerry.