BlackBerry Messenger for Android image leaks as beta test invitations begin going out [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
BlackBerry announced back in May that it would be bringing BlackBerry Messenger to Android and iOS, marking the first time that its service would be available on a non-BlackBerry device. The company hasn't said much about its launch plans since then, but it appears as though BlackBerry has begun testing the software externally.
A new image posted by BGR claims to show the Welcome screen of BBM for Android on a Samsung Galaxy S III. The device's status bar contains a small BBM icon along with the usual assortment of Samsung indicators, and the Welcome screen itself invites the user to sign in with his or her BlackBerry ID or create a new one in order to begin using BBM. No other images of the app were shared, but the source of the photo describes the software as "not too bad."
Meanwhile, BlackBerryOS.com has shared a screenshot from a BlackBerry 10 device that claims to show that BlackBerry has begun external testing of the BBM for Android app. The image is of an email inviting the user to join the BBM beta and test out BBM for Android before its public launch. Only users with an Android device running ICS 4.0 or higher are eligible for the beta, which BlackBerry has previously said will be a requirement for the official BBM for Android app.
Unfortunately for consumers eager to get their cross-platform BBM on, these leaked images don't shed any additional light on when BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS will actually be released to the public. If they're the real deal, though, they do show that BlackBerry has begun wider testing of the Android app, bringing it one step closer to an actual launch. When it does launch, BBM for Android and iOS will be a free app that supports features like BBM chatting, sharing of photos and voice notes and the ability to add contacts using PIN, email, SMS and more.
UPDATE: BlackBerryOS.com has now shared screenshots of the BBM for Android app itself. The device is running on an Android phone with on-screen navigation buttons, and the layout of the app itself looks similar to one that you'd find on BlackBerry 10. There's also a BBM icon in the device's status bar.