BBM coming to iOS and Android this summer

BlackBerry's BBM messaging service is finally coming to Android and iOS. The long-rumoured release of BBM on handsets other than BlackBerry's own was announced by CEO Thorsten Heins on stage at the BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando, Florida

"We are making the BBM platform more powerful than ever. We want to offer this powerful mobile service to everyone," said Heins.

Any iPhone running iOS 6 or later will be able to download BBM. Android handsets need to be using Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean in order for BBM to work. BBM will also be free on both iPhone and Android.

"We are committed to making BBM on other platforms as fully featured as we can," explained Heins, who was keen to emphasise that the messaging service would still be best on BlackBerry's own handsets.

"Of course BBM on blackberry will be the premier experience," said Heins. "It's a statement of confidence." 

The CEO explained that the company was so confident with BlackBerry 10's success that it wasn't worried about sharing its premier draw, BBM, with other operating systems.

The rollout will begin in the summer with BBM in its most basic form. Messaging and groups will be available on Android and iOS, with video and screen sharing coming later in the year. The just announced BBM Channels should also arrive in 2013.