Free calling and texting for your iPhone. Yep. It’s real. With Viber, that’s exactly what you get since it works through whatever WiFi connection you happen to be using. This gives you one more reason to mooch off the neighbors! Despite a few reasonable hoops to jump through, the app is quite functional. It says it offers free calling and free texting, and it does. Nothing can beat that.
As far as I can tell, Viber is a wonderful app with a variety of practical uses. From free phone calls to free texting, this app has it all. In short, Viber should be installed on every iPhone user’s device.
How It Works
First off, Viber does exactly what it says it will do, but there’s a catch. Unfortunately, in order to call or text anyone with the app, they must also have Viber. In all honesty, it’s not that big of a deal – no pain involved whatsoever. After all, it’s just a simple app download, and it even works cross-platform (it actually made our Best Android Apps List in addition to our Best iPhone Apps List).
However, it also tends to make your list of available contacts appear to be very bare.
You could always invite others to install the app while using Viber, but this solely limits you to a circle of other smartphone users. For those of you who have friends who do not own a smartphone, this can be a bit of a hassle. You can make the call in-app, but it actually just transfers you to the regular dialing function. At that point, your carrier’s rates will apply.
Now that I’ve told you about the bad side of the app, I can talk about how great it is. When calling your friends, everything can sound crystal clear. However, this all depends on your local connection. If you have bad WiFi, then your friends are going to sound like they are talking into a tin can, but with a one-jillion Mb connection, it’s probably going to sound like they are in the room with you.
Fortunately, Viber tells you the quality details of your current connection in-app.
As a note, the app does work with 3G, but this will eat into your data rates. Because of this, it’s best to exclusively use it with WiFi for true-blue free communication. Granted, you’re likely paying for your WiFi, but keep in mind that the app also works in public areas with wireless Internet accommodations. This time around, “free” can really mean “free”.
How It Looks
The app’s design is almost exactly like the layout of the iPhone’s standard apps. Messaging looks a bit like Messages with a few variations, and the contacts layout is nearly the same. This also goes for the phone’s keypad and calling screen. However, the color scheme comes in purple rather than blue. As picky as this may sound, I would have liked for some other color options, but of course, this all comes down to branding at what-not. Like anyone ever cares about my opinions…
Besides the color scheme, the app is very easy to use and read from. It almost operates as if it is an OS within an OS, and in all honesty, that’s kind of what it is. You have access to all your contacts in-app (but as aforementioned, can only contact those who have the app), and messages are sorted precisely like normal texting. Anyone who has an iPhone should have no problem picking this app up right away.
How It Feels
As I already said, the app looks exactly like iOS, and as you might expect, it feels just like iOS, too. Everything functions smoothly, and if not for the purple color scheme, you might not be able to tell a difference. Admittedly, my WiFi connection was acting up at one point, and this reduced the audio quality in the conversation between me and my friend.
However, the connection was miraculously healed for whatever reason, and we had a reasonably awkward chat that was akin to the first time I ever called a girl in eighth grade.
As for texting, the app worked just as expected. Messages were sent quickly and responses were rapid. Granted, I was slightly annoyed by the fact that the delivery confirmation is in the actual text bubble for each every text (as already pictured). This is a minor design issue, and it’s likely just a matter of taste.
Viber is an excellent app with a great deal of potential for its users. You really can’t hold anything against free calling and texting, can you? However, it operates only with users who also have the app. Even with this minor inconvenience, Viber is still top notch.
Are you a Viber user? What do you have to say about its quality? Do any of your friends use Viber?