BlackBerry Messenger has received an update, BBM 7, which brings free voice calls over Wi-Fi and a host of other new features to loyal fans.
The Skype-like call feature allows BBM users to chat with other BBM buddies over a Wi-Fi connection, free of charge, as well as text-type as normal. In the beta tests, nine out of ten users were suitably impressed and said they'd use the voice chat to keep in touch while travelling. The chat service is compatible with Bluetooth headsets if you need to walk and talk.
Other new features include the ability to get on with other stuff while messaging your mates, such as checking emails or playing with other apps. More emoticons, BB ID syncing and direct update notification round off the other new additions.
BBM 7's new emoticons. Our favourite is the Homer Simpson-style drooling one in the second row. Although it could also represent someone who's passed out from over-boozing, very appropriate for the holiday season.
BBM 7 with BBM Voice is now available for all BlackBerry smartphones running the BlackBerry 6 OS or higher with support planned for smartphones running the BlackBerry 5 OS early next year. You can download BBM7 from BlackBerry's AppWorld.