BlackBerry announces its latest Cross-Platform BBM Service which will compete with the big guns like Whatsapp and Viber. This new Cross Platform BBM Service by BlackBerry will be available on Android and iOS platform from the coming summer. BlackBerry has planned to initially offer texts, photo messages and group sharing functions on devices running Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins announced during the BlackBerry Live event that iOS 6 and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices will get basic messaging and groups features in the initial roll-out, but will eventually add voice messaging, screen-sharing, and channels functionality later in the year. The move could bring a stiff comptetion for close rivals like Whatsapp, Viber, iMessage and Skype.

This new Messenger service from BlackBerry will be available for free download starting this summer for Android and Apple users. CEO Thorsten Heins added that the popular service, now exclusive to BlackBerry users, is ready to branch out as a free-standing app accessible on iPhones, iPads and other devices, including Samsung handsets that use Google’s open-source Android platform.