BlackBerry 10 BBM to Feature FaceTime-Style Video Chat
A leaked video on the CrackBerry forums has revealed that the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) application in Research In Motion’s highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 operating system will feature a FaceTime-style video function that will allow users to speak to each other face to face using two-way video.
This is great news for fans of BlackBerry Messenger and helps RIM’s new operating system match-up with its major competitors, many of which offer similar video chat options.
One exciting addition to this chat feature is screen-sharing, which enables users to essentially share a single screen across multiple devices. This feature isn’t offered by all other video chat applications, making it a point of advantage for RIM’s new OS.
For users who employ chat applications as platforms for collaboration, either for work or play, this screen-sharing feature is a huge bonus. It also makes it much easier to share media, like pictures and video.
BBM’s new video function could also be highly beneficial for corporate users. BlackBerry products have traditionally been a favourite of the business world, and the ability to hold video conferences on BlackBerry 10 devices could help Research In Motion claw back some of the market share that Apple has taken away in the corporate world.
A renewed foothold on their core market could provide RIM with the boost it needs to repair the significant damage that its stock price has suffered over the last few years.
One criticism that Research In Motion has faced in the past has been that their products lacked the kind of rich feature sets that where available from competing products like Google’s Android operating system and Apple’s iOS.
For example, Apple’s videotelephony application – FaceTime – has been hugely successful with users of their iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad products. The new video chat functionality in BlackBerry 10, in addition to a beefed-up application market, should help close that gap.
Whether Research In Motion’s new BlackBerry 10 operating system and the products released to utilize it will be a success is yet to be seen, but the excitement leading up to the release, and the number of leaks that have occurred, are Apple-like in nature.
The addition of strong new features like video chat and screen sharing are sure to help keep excitement levels high, and come launch time, that could be the difference between long line-ups and impressive sales numbers, or another disappointing product like the BlackBerry PlayBook. Only time will tell which way BlackBerry 10 goes, but things are certainly looking positive for RIM.