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  • Voice Texting: Now Available for BBM 7 Users
Technology Articles > Cell Phones > Blackberry > Voice Texting: Now Available for BBM 7 Users

Tired of thumb typing while texting? If you currently use BBM 7, your voice is all you need. RIM announced yesterday that a new voice feature was available for all BBM 7 users. This feature only works when using text, and you must have BBM 7 in order to use it.

The other caveat is that users must be connected to WiFi in order to activate the voice function. Aside from these few restrictions, BBM’s new voice feature works flawlessly – and will certainly save your thumbs a lot of grief!

RIM isn’t the only company headed in the voice direction. Google has also introduced voice commands for Google TV, and, of course, Apple created Siri for iPhone some time ago. The world, it seems, is moving away from typing and towards voice. Do you currently use BBM 7? Here’s what you’ll get from RIM’s new voice activation feature.

Using the BBM 7 Voice Text Option

BBM’s new voice feature allows users to switch from voice to text, initiate all calls and texts, alerting friends when available to chat, and splitting a BBM screen in order to chat -- all of these things can be done by offering up simple voice commands. Right now, if you open up your BBM 7 chat, you will see a small microphone icon. Tap on that icon to activate the chat feature. From there, simply tell your phone what you want to do. Basic features and functions can be activated via voice right now, but RIM may certainly add additional options in the future.

If you’ve been keeping up with BBM news lately, you may also know that RIM has been adding additional features to BBM as well. The biggest feature is the integration of BBM chat with BlackBerry ID. BlackBerry ID presents users with the option to back up friend lists, profiles, and groups. In turn, this makes it simpler to switch devices when the time comes (something that RIM should have done a long time ago). Why all the focus on chat?

Increasing BBM Features Makes Sense

RIM has certainly had its share of troubles. But, there’s one thing that BlackBerry users agree on: it’s hard to beat BBM. BlackBerry’s messenger system is what keeps BlackBerry users faithful. So, it makes good marketing sense for RIM to focus on new BBM features and options that users will love.

If RIM can keep users interested in BBM, perhaps those users will stick around long enough to use the new apps that RIM is working on – who knows, maybe some iPhone and Android users might even switch over to BlackBerry if RIM’s new app initiative takes off.

Right now, BBM 7 is available for those phones running BlackBerry OS 6 or above. If you’re still running BlackBerry OS 5, you’ll have to wait a bit. RIM has told press that updates for the older operating system will be available in the future (no exact date listed yet).

If you are running BlackBerry OS 6 and want to test out the new voice feature, visit RIM’s BetaZone {{https://beta.webapps.blackberry.com/login/?cont=portals&act=index&item=|LINK}} and sign up. Right now, the voice feature is in beta mode, but will be released to the general BBM public soon enough.