In 2013, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) made its way to iOS and Android devices, finally giving non-BlackBerry device owners access to the popular instant messaging app. Earlier this year, the company updated the service to include voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calling and Dropbox support. Recently, BlackBerry took yet another step toward making BBM a full-featured communication tool for business users by releasing BBM Meetings, a new collaboration solution designed specifically for mobile devices.
The BBM Meetings app offers a wide range of collaboration features, such as voice meetings, videoconferencing, presentations and real-time file sharing.
On the surface, BBM Meetings seems just like any other collaboration service, but there are a few things that set it apart. Here's why it could be the next mobile meeting tool for your business. [8 Best Apps for Business Collaboration]
Quickly and easily connect
BBM Meetings is designed to allow mobile users to easily collaborate by quickly jumping into meetings. It lets you turn any BBM chat or group chat into a live meeting, and you can also invite contacts from your address book over email.
Unlike other collaboration tools, however, BBM Meetings lets attendees instantly join meetings. Whereas most services require attendees to call in to the meeting and dial in identifiers — such as conference IDs, passcodes and PINs — BBM Meetings eliminates the hassle and wasted time by calling invitees instead. Each invitee's phone rings, just as it would on a voice call, and the person is connected to the meeting as soon as he or she picks up.
BBM Meetings also lets hosts manage sessions straight from their mobile devices. Features include the ability to grant host privileges to attendees, dismiss attendees, mute lines and lock meetings for more privacy. They can also continue to chat with attendees during the meeting — for instance, by sending group messages or private messages to individual team members.
Deliver and view presentations
Need to make a presentation? In addition to voice meetings, BBM Meetings can handle HD videoconferencing for up to 25 participants in a single session. The feature is optimized for smartphones and tablets, but it's also accessible via desktop and laptop computers.
Features include full-screen views of presenters, screen sharing (so attendees can see exactly what's on your screen) and the ability to share and edit documents in real time. Attendees can also see who else is in the meeting by swiping through a gallery of presenters and participants.
Cost and system requirements
BBM Meetings costs $12.50 per host per month. It's available on BlackBerry 10 version 10.2.1 or later, iOS 7 or later and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later. BBM Meetings is also compatible with Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8) or later; Windows 8, 8.1, 7 or Vista with Service Pack 1 or greater; and Windows XP with Service Pack 3 or greater.