BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has followed through on its floated idea of adding video calls to its BlackBerry Messenger app in BlackBerry 10—that is, if images said to be leaked from an internal RIM slide show prove to be the real thing.
Tech site CrackBerry.com posted the images Dec. 26 but soon afterward took them down at RIM’s request.
RIM officially responded to the images by saying in a statement, “We understand that there is a lot of excitement for BlackBerry 10. We will launch the platform on Jan. 30, and until then we won’t comment on speculation.”
The caption to one image, which shows a video-calling session running alongside a BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) chat, explains, “Chat with a colleague or customer then transition to a video call for improved collaboration and share a presentation or spreadsheet instantly to help get the message across more clearly—all at the push of a button.”
Other slides show the ease with which a user can share an image with a BBM Group.
Another slide details a feature called BlackBerry Remember, which helps users “capture and organize content and ideas” in a way that helps “turn ideas into action.” It goes on to explain that users can “set tasks and goals from anywhere on the device, group them into projects and track them to completion.”
Tasks, represented as boxes of sorts, can also be synced with a Microsoft Outlook calendar and can be tagged so they’re easier to find or follow up with later.
After two delays, RIM has promised to introduce its new BlackBerry 10 platform Jan. 30. The company emailed invitations to a New York City event in mid-December.
Despite RIM’s ongoing struggles to stop losing market share to Apple and Samsung, RIM CEO Thorston Heins said during a Dec. 20 earnings call that the last few months at RIM have been exciting ones and that its carrier partners are similarly enthused.
“With BlackBerry 10, they see the potential to enrich the user experience using the navigation of BlackBerry Flow, integration of the BlackBerry Hub, the speed and convenience of our Peek gesture, and the uniqueness of the touch BlackBerry keyboard and the elegance and security of BlackBerry Balance for enterprise users … ,” Heins said in his opening remarks. “We have many other features and more surprises that will be unveiled at launch.”
Later in the call, Heins announced that RIM is planning to change its service revenue model, and that these changes may apply to BBM.
“We have a very, very strong installed BBM base out there,” he said in response to an analyst’s question. “BBM is a fantastic social network that is really distinct from other messaging applications because of its immediacy, because of its richness of services, and we’re going to evolve that.”
Heins went on to address additional service revenues.
“So the point is that what we’re working on is how do we evolve BBM [services] to a stage where we can actually also create additional service revenues out of BBM,” said Heins.
Alongside BlackBerry 10, RIM has promised the release of at least two new smartphones, one with a dedicated QWERTY keyboard and one without. CrackBerry has also released images that it says is one of the devices, for now called the Z10.
While noting that the images add nothing new to the current stockpile of rumors and leaked data, CrackBerry added, “it’s sure a pretty sight to look at.”