9x16_android_bbm_chat_betaIf you might recall, last week the official BBM Twitter account teased that something new was coming along with an image of an icon. It was unconfirmed at that time but many had speculated that the BBM for Android app could be getting a material design makeover. It looks like the speculators were right as BlackBerry has officially announced it on their blog.

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As you can see in the image above, the change in the user interface is a rather drastic one as it looks very different from the current version of the app. According to BlackBerry, “We’ve redesigned BBM for Android from the ground up, using material design principles as inspiration. This means a more colorful, more eye-popping, and easier-to-use BBM experience that’s brand-new, yet very familiar.”

In addition to the makeover in the UI, BlackBerry also announced some new features which includes private chats where contact names are hidden and message notifications are turned off. The chat will also be deleted once it has been ended. There is also the ability to edit your message, as well as publish status updates in the BBM feed.

However BlackBerry notes that these changes and features are part of the beta for the Android app and that it could be subject to change upon its release. As for its release there is no specific date yet but in the meantime users interested in participating in the beta can sign up for it.

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