BlackBerry Messenger for iOS to launch September 22

It's confirmed -- the long-rumored BlackBerry Messenger is ready to roll out this weekend to iPhone owners. The release arrives one day after the Android version lands in the Google Play Store on September 21. With these releases, BBM moves away from its BlackBerry-only roots and becomes a cross-platform messaging service.

On its website, BlackBerry listed the features that will be available to iOS BBM users at launch. These include the following:

BBM Chat – Enjoy real, immediate conversations with friends on Android, iPhone and BlackBerry smartphones. Not only does BBM let you know that your message has been delivered and read, it also shows you that your friend is responding to the message.

More than chat – With BBM you can share files on your phone such as photos and voice notes, all in an instant.

BBM Groups lets you invite up to 30 friends to chat together, and go a step further than multi-chat by sharing photos and schedules. And, with Broadcast Message, you can send a message out to all your BBM contacts at once.

Post Updates and stay in the know – BBM lets you post a personal message, profile picture and your current status, and lets your contacts know instantly in Updates.

Your unique PIN – Every BBM user has a unique PIN that maintains your privacy, so you don't have to give out your phone number or email address to a new or casual contact.

BlackBerry announced that BlackBerry Messenger for iOS will be available at 12:01 AM on September 22 in the iOS App Store. It will be compatible with iPhones running iOS 6 or iOS 7.