If there’s one thing that BlackBerry can be proud of, it’s the BBM messaging service. I think that everyone can say that for the majority – if not all – of the BlackBerry users they know, BBM was the thing that clinched the deal. Of course, we have heard of BBM outages happening, with users feeling like they’ve been cut off from the rest of the world. Never mind that they can only use BBM with the handful of other BlackBerry users in their circle.

BBM for Android and iOS

This situation is about to change, though, as BlackBerry has just announced that it is going to release BBM for Android and iOS come summer. This season is always an exciting one for many reasons, but for users of BBM who may have been wanting to expand their circles to non-BlackBerry friends, this summer is really something to look forward to.

According to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, “It’s time to bring BBM to a greater audience, no matter what mobile device they carry.” He also gives assurance that BBM for Android and iOS will not be merely crippled copycat versions. He adds, “We’re starting with messaging and groups, but we’ll bring voice, screen share, and of course, channels later on.”

Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that BlackBerry has to rely on Apple and Google’s approval. Without that stamp, BBM for Android and iOS might just be a flop. Or might not even happen. If it does happen, users who want to connect via BBM will be able to do so by downloading the free app.

On another note, this development brings up an interesting idea: “Every major mobile competitor makes apps for iOS.” Google makes apps for iOS (How do we live without Google Maps?). Microsoft also has apps for iOS. Nokia has Here Maps. That may not be every competitor, but it does give you something to think about.

In any case, how do you feel about BBM for Android and iOS? Are you even thinking about using it on top – or in lieu – of WhatsApp (which is on BB10, by the way), Viber, etc.?

[Image via iMore]