BlackBerry Messenger 5 is now available


RIM has finally updated BlackBerry Messenger program. Thank goodness, the previous version felt old a few years ago. The 2.4MB update brings a wealth of new features like the ability to create an avatar, adding friends by scanning a bar code, group messaging, and the ability to share multimedia with multiple contacts at once. Plus, it looks a hell of a lot better. This program of course is meant just for communicating with other BlackBerrys using each phone’s unique PIN.

You have two install options: either navigate to via your phone’s browser to initiate the OTA download or find the program in App World. Be warned though, the program requires a reboot to finish the installation.

Click through for the full list of updates and new features.

The follow is a subset of new or improved features found in BlackBerry Messenger 5.0. For more information on these and all features, please refer to the BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 user guide.
* BlackBerry Messenger is supported for BlackBerry handheld software 4.5 and higher.
* Certain features may require specific handheld code version.
* Users using BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 will still be able to communicate with users of all older version of BlackBerry Messenger.
Enhanced SMS Integration
* BlackBerry Messenger provides a unified interface for sending and receiving SMS/MMS messages.
* Single contact list for most personal mobile to mobile communications
Conversational Chat-like User Experience, similar to a BlackBerry Messenger
* There is also a reply area at the bottom of the Conversation Screen for responding to SMS messages.
* Personalization of SMS contacts, such as Avatars.
* SMS integration only available on BlackBerry device software 5.0 and higher
Contact List backup to file and restore
* Backups can be made to the memory card, the internal memory, or wirelessly by registering your email address.
* With a backup complete, restoring the contact can be completed as well.
* Reliable Contacts Restore on Device Switch
Barcode Invitation
* Users can display their own unique bar-code for others to scan.
* Add users to their BlackBerry Messenger Contact List by scanning other BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 user’s bar code with the devices camera.
* Barcode can be scanned to join a group or someones BlackBerry messenger contact list
Block Ability to invite more participants
* Owners (initiator) of conversations can block more participants from being added by others participants.
* If a BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 user creates a conference with BlackBerry Messenger pre-5.0 user participants, the BlackBerry Messenger pre-5.0 users will still be able to invite more participants to the conference.
Set Subject for Conversations
* Ability to set and change subject for a conversation
Large files transfer support
* The maximum size of transferred file is increased from 15K to 6M
* Not compatible with the previous versions of BlackBerry Messenger
Message Broadcast
* Users will be able to send the same message to multiple users.
* Users will be able to pick the users to broadcast this message to.
Conversation history
* BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 message history allows messages to be saved, displaying a timeline of conversations with users.
* Conversations become searchable and saved.
Blocking/Ignoring Users
* Users will have the option to block and ignore users.
* Any messages from the ignored users will be discarded. However, the message received will still be considered delivered.
BlackBerry Groups
* Stay connected with your friends by creating, joining or inviting friends to join a group.
The ability to update, share & communicate with a subset community of your social universe on a regular basis.
* Share pictures, calendar events, list and various other items for others to see, update, and discuss.
* Groups have a limit of 30 users.
Profile Personalization
* Users can choose a picture from the on-device gallery and save it as their personal Avatar.
* Users can view Avatars of contacts in the Contact list
* Share the name of the song you are listening to with other BlackBerry Messenger Contacts.