This is an app that my son in New Zealand has put me onto recently. I kept pestering him to get Skype updated on his phone (seems that like anything that Micro$oft have to do with – they own Skype – needs constant updates for them it to work). he said, ‘Dad I use Viber and have for years, it just works and I can txt, call and video call anyone with the app’.
So I tried it and I’m hooked – it’s even better than Facebook messenger (yuck its a huge app and the ads are a pain) – and as my son says, it just works. And really well too. If you like sending emojis, gifs and photos in messenger, you’ll be happy to know that Viber has them all – and it’s also easy to snap a quick photo with the phone camera and send it too.
I originally installed Viber on the tablet as I preferred the larger screen but had to use my phone number. When I then installed it on the phone, the app was unregistered on the tablet. After doing some sleuthing, I found that you can put it on another device – you just need to install on the phone first. You then install on the tablet and select ‘transfer history from phone’ and all is well.
I like it that Viber can be set to stay ‘active’ and show a small phone icon on the top Android bar so you won’t miss a call or txt. It doesn’t seem to be a battery hog either as I haven’t noticed much of a loss of battery life every day since installing the app.
Video quality is fine and can be either portrait or landscape mode. The ads which are just a bar at the bottom aren’t intrusive either and I haven’t accidently tapped any. I’ve noticed that if the internet speed lowers due to being in a dead spot, it quickly reconnects again unless the connection is dropped altogether which is great. Skype used to drive me crazy with the constant droput messages about video quality.
Viber Messenger also includes group chats and has end to end encryption so you know all calls and video chats are secure.
So, if you’d like to try another video calling app (or just a substitute for Messenger or phone txts) give Viber a try. Only caution I’d mention is that you have to give it access to your contacts but it doesn’t invite them unless you specifically tell it to do so which is good. I bet you end up inviting some of them anyway because it is just so easy to use.
It is available for both Android and Apple phones as well as Windows PCs and Macs so it covers all bases. Like Skype, Viber also includes ‘Viber Out’ calling to mobiles and landlines in any country and this might be a good alternative to making regular phone calls. For example, calls to NZ landlines or mobiles are the same low cost of around 2 cents a minute and they also have a $6 per month unlimited call plan to that destination if you need to make a lot of calls to one destination or you can buy a monthly plan for $5 and make calls to any country for up to around 200 minutes. Compare that with Telstra’s international call rates!
Price : Free
Size : varies with device
Needs : varies with device