Right now, if I were one of the major mobile carriers, I would be pretty scared. For years they have enjoyed massive profits while providing a less than perfect service. Especially in Ireland, mobile costs are fairly crazily expensive. But there are some new new apps that are becoming hugely popular, that the movile networks are really not going to like.
Firstly, there is “WhatsApp“. It’s a brilliantly simple messaging service. Kinda like text messaging, but better, and 100% completely free. It’s really more like Instant Messaging. Blackberry users already have something like this but now everyone can enjoy this, cause it works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and some Nokia phones too. I just love this app. Its better than text messaging. Quicker, easier to use, you get delivery notifications, you can send photos, videos or audio really easily, all 100% completely free, anywhere in the world. It notifies you just like a text message, and you can even Update Your Status like you do on Facebook. The thing I find since using this, is that its almost more informal than sending a text, so you are more likely to actually communicate using it. A text may only be 12cent or so, but if you send hundreds it all ads up. It is becoming very popular and once most people have it, there will be little need to send and pay for text messages any more.
The second app, is called Viber. Viber is essentially completely free calls between you and whoever else has the Viber app – over the data network or Wifi. This is not new, Skype has been doing this for ages, but there is a major difference. Firstly, Skype requires you to resister and create an account – and then you have to know which of your friends use it, and add them. Viber is different – there is no registration, just a little Viber icon beside the names of anyone in your list of numbers, who also has Viber. No need to add them yourself, it already knows! So, you go to make a call as normal, if they have Viber on their phone, when you call them, it will use the viber network and be completely free! If they do not have Viber, it just makes a normal phone call. Amazingly everyone says that the call quality is fantastic, actually better than a normal call! So, no need to think about call charges when speaking to your friends overseas. Quick easy high quality calls with zero hassle. There are a few downsides to using Skype which is why most people don’t use it all the time, this seems to solve this problem. Viber is currently only available for iPhone but will be released on Android in March apparently. Being a big Android fan I cannot wait. But better still, Viber is soon to add text & picture messaging too – so it will do what WhatsApp does too…
So, what everyone need to now do is download these apps and start using them – but more importantly is to make sure your friends download and use it too! If most of your friends use these two apps, everyones phone bills would decrease significantly.
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This is a member of the Viber Development Team!
Thank you for your review of Viber. we are very happy that so many people worldwide are interested in our application.
If anyone has any questions/suggestions for Viber, please feel free to write, and I will address them shortly.
Wow, thanks for the reply! Ok, well a few questions if I may…
1) When will the Android app be released? I saw the youtube video showing ti working, but when can I get my hands on it? I heard March, is this accurate? Early or late March do you think? Is there a beta I could get on perhaps?
2) When will you be incorporating messaging – and will it be as good as, or better than WhatsApp etc? Will it have web-searchable messages like Beluga?
3) Some people have concerns over data usage – roughly how much data does Viber use for e.g. a 10 minute call?
4) How will the app be charged for in the future? App brain is currently free but will cost $1.99 per year thereafter. Will Viber do something similar?
5) Any other new developments in the pipeline that you can tell me about??
Thanks, looking forward to your reply.
1. We officially announced that the Viber-for-Android version will be released in March, and we expect it to be ready towards the end of March. about beta-testing, you can subscriber to be a beta-tester (hopefully it’s not full already) here: http://eepurl.com/bW1Ln
2. Text Messaging will be included in our upcoming version 2.0 that will be released by the end of this month!
I suggest you try it out when it’s out, and decide for yourself :)
3. Viber uses about 0.25MB/min in + out, which is 0.5MB/min total. this means 5MB every 10 minutes. Very little, as you can understand.
4. For now, our focus is on adding platforms, adding features (such as text messages) and improving overall system performance. At the same time, we are working on additional future premium services that will generate revenues. The basic Viber service – Viber to Viber phone calls, and soon text messages – will ALWAYS be free.
5. We are continuously developing new features and fixing bugs. For example, we are considering to implement a customized ringtone option, but we don’t have specific release date for this new feature. We will keep you posted.
You are very welcome, and feel free to contact me with any future question you might have :)
Great post, thanks for sharing. Have just found your blog and some interesting stuff there so keep up the good work! I’d never heard of Viber before now, but will be keeping an eye on Android development for March!
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Can anyone tell me how much data it uses to leave it on all day using 3G.
I’m concerned about leaving it on all day & texting maybe 10 times an hour will use a lot of data
I just installed Viber. I tried a few calls and they went great. Do the Viber-to-Viber calls show up on my Verizon bill? They show in my phone’s call-log, but I need to know if they show up on the bill (even as free). Can you help?
@Red Sreya – Viber-to-Viber calls will not show up on your bill because they are placed through a separate system than the user’s cellular provider. The call log will only show on your phone.
I would like to know how much data Viber uses if on all day… Will it use up all my data for the month if constantly left on?
How do I turn it off if I don’t want it on all day?
Viber uses about 0.5MB per minute, and up to 1KB per text message.
We can’t tell if it will use up all your data, because that depends on your data plan. You can do the math ;)
You can simply not make or take Viber calls on 3G if you think the data usage is high (even though it’s relatively low, compared to other VOIP services). Remember that on WiFi your cellular data is not affected at all.
I’d like to know how Viber calls are listed on Verizon cellular bills?