The rollout of BBM to Android and iOS must rank as one of the few high points for BlackBerry in what was another tough year in 2013.
And now the company has kicked off 2014 by releasing a much-improved BBM 2.0 to the wider mobile world, which delivers among other things the ability to make voice calls via BBM for the first time.
BBM Voice lets Android and iOS call their BBM contacts anywhere in the world for free over Wi-Fi or their phone's data connection – a green call icon will show at the top right of the chat window to show when a contact is available to call using BBM Voice.
BBM 2.0 has other new features worth a mention too. For starters, it brings BBM Channels support to Android and iOS users for the first time, allowing access to general chat areas on topics of common interest.
Probably a more important addition, meanwhile, is Dropbox support, allowing users to transfer large files directly to BBM contacts directly from their Dropbox folder. There's also the ability to share location via Glympse, improved tools for attaching images, contacts and calendar events, new emoticons and expanded BBM Groups.