With the launch of the BlackBerry 10 Android mobile operating system on Tuesday, the BlackBerry brand has been thrust into the spotlight once again.
BlackBerry’s Android platform is a big part of its appeal and while the platform is gaining traction in the market, the company’s Web browser experience has long been one of its weakest points.
To help BlackBerry customers get a better experience with their mobile Web browsers, the smartphone maker announced a new Web component called WebChat, which is available on Android phones and tablets.
BlackBerry WebChat offers a browser interface for Android apps, but the company says it can also be used on BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
In a blog post Tuesday, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said WebChat will enable BlackBerry 10 users to interact with other BlackBerry 10 devices in a more natural way, including by adding support for WebChat to existing apps, or by making WebChat accessible to the web.
BlackBerry has always been about making apps simple, said Heins, adding that WebChat is “not about the app.
It’s about the browser.”
BlackBerry Web Chat has been available on BlackBerry phones since March, when it first launched on the BlackBerry PlayBook, and it is now being used by more than 200 million BlackBerry 10 phones worldwide.
Heins confirmed that Web Chat is still available on the PlayBook’s BlackBerry 10 operating system, but said the company will no longer be supporting the device as a BlackBerry 10 app.
Instead, BlackBerry will be introducing WebChat as a feature on new BlackBerry smartphones starting with the Playbook’s upcoming Q1 2017 release, which includes BlackBerry 10 software.
The company did not provide any further details on how WebChat would work, but Heins promised that the feature would be available to BlackBerry 10 customers in the near future.
“The experience with WebChat can be tailored to individual users.
For example, the WebChat feature is available to all BlackBerry 10 mobile users.
You can have your WebChat conversation with other users in the same WebChat channel,” Heins wrote.
He did not elaborate on how this feature would work.
BlackBerry is also expanding WebChat support to all Web browsers in the BlackBerry World app, which it will launch with the BlackBerry Hub in the coming months.
For BlackBerry 10, WebChat features will be available on a number of different Web sites, including BlackBerry’s BlackBerry Web site and BlackBerry Hub.
BlackBerry announced earlier this month that it would be bringing WebChat and other Web-based capabilities to BlackBerry Hub, the mobile Web browser for BlackBerry 10 that allows users to share documents and contacts with one another on BlackBerry smartphones.
The service is also now available on iPhone and Android smartphones.
BlackBerry will also launch its own WebChat platform in the U.S. in the upcoming months, which will be called WebConnect.
In an email, BlackBerry spokesperson Andrew Smith said WebConnect will “allow BlackBerry 10 and BlackBerry 10 Pro users to connect with one or more of the hundreds of millions of Web users around the world.”
BlackBerry said the WebConnect platform is being developed in partnership with Google and will be a “first of its kind” in the Web ecosystem.
BlackBerry also announced in June that it will start selling WebChat-enabled phones and accessories to customers starting in September.
BlackBerry said that the Web Connect feature will also be available in the future on BlackBerry Hub smartphones.
“We’re excited to bring WebChat capabilities to our Hub, a Web browser designed specifically for BlackBerry,” said Heres.
“With WebConnect, we are taking BlackBerry to the next level and delivering a rich, engaging Web experience for BlackBerry users around a billion people around the globe.”
For more on BlackBerry, see our recent feature on the company.
BlackBerry 10 will be released in two versions: the BlackBerry Priv and BlackBerry Enterprise.
The Priv will be sold in the United States, Canada and other countries, while the Enterprise version will be rolled out in Europe and Asia.
BlackBerry Priv BlackBerry 10 is the first BlackBerry device to feature the BlackBerry Messenger Web app, available for Android and iOS.
The Messenger Web application allows BlackBerry users to communicate with one-another over email, instant messaging, chat, instant calls and more, while BlackBerry Enterprise will allow BlackBerry 10 smartphone users to collaborate and share photos and videos across their entire network of BlackBerry devices.
BlackBerry Messenger is available in Android phones, but WebChat has been used by BlackBerry 10 on its smartphones since March.
BlackBerry added WebChat in March, and the company is now adding WebChat on new smartphones and tablets from all major carriers.
He said that BlackBerry 10’s WebChat app will continue to support BlackBerry 10 apps on all BlackBerry devices until a future version of the platform.
“There will be new BlackBerry Web features coming to BlackBerry devices and services over the next year,” said Smith.
BlackBerry did not specify when or how Web Chat will be added to its BlackBerry 10 platform.