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Thursday wound up being a busy day for mobile messaging apps as BBM hit version 2.0 with voice chat in tow and Skype finally managed to get a handle on syncing text-based chat across multiple devices.
BlackBerry announced the release of BBM 2.0 on Thursday, a big update for iPhone and Android devices that enables mobile devices to make free calls to each other over any available data connection.
BBM Voice is already a key feature of BlackBerry 10 handsets, but now those users can call their iPhone and Android toting friends (and vice versa) from anywhere in the world over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
BBM 2.0 also introduces Channels, which allow BBM users to chat with others on a wide range of topics including products, hobbies and sports (to name but a few). The service now also includes location sharing powered by Glympse, Dropbox integration and the ability to share a photo, voice note or file with other BBM contacts.
Meanwhile, over in the Skype camp, the Microsoft-owned service appears to have finally grappled with issues that kept text-based chat messages out of sync -- for example, seeing a message marked as read on one device, but unread on another.
"Now you can have peace of mind that your friends will receive messages even if they’re not on Skype at the time you hit 'send,' and, if you’ve read a Skype message on your phone, it’ll show as 'read' when you check your messages on your laptop later in the evening," the blog post notes.
Skype's chat sync changes don't appear to require downloading a new update for iOS, but BBM 2.0 is now available to download from the App Store.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter