NHN Japan, the local affiliate of Korea’s NHN Corporation, stated that its LINE smartphone app for free-calling and free-messaging is now available for Blackberry users. The LINE Blackberry version will be targeted at users in Southeast Asia particularly Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand where Blackberry is still used prominently.
The LINE smartphone app lets users to text and call from their smartphones using the existing data plan so users can communicate via the Internet and not be charged for a cell call. Users can call one another both nationally and internationally, regardless of which mobile network provider they are using.
NHN Japan claimed that the number of users employing the LINE app exceeds over 54 million around the globe. The company reportedly developed the LINE app for its employees who were forced to use the internet to reach each other during the massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that struck northeast Japan in March 2011 disrupting phone lines across the country.
In addition to BlackBerry (News - Alert) devices, LINE is already available on iPhone, Android, feature-phones, PC, tablets and Windows Phones. NHN Japan added that it aims to further develop LINE to cater to multiple devices and platforms in the future.
LINE provides free messenger and VoIP services on 3G and Wi-Fi networks and users can use the service for free over Wi-Fi, however, as with any other apps, they may be charged a data usage fee on the 3G network, depending on their network usage.
At first the new Blackberry version will only have the main messaging feature and it lets users to send one another text and photos as well as those well renowned stickers designed to increase the one-to-one chatting experience. Emoji, Kaomoji, location information, video and voice messages cannot be sent. The app supports English, Japanese, Chinese (traditional/simplified), Korean and runs in BlackBerry OS 5 or higher.
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