Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Viber now VoIPs on Windows and Mac, adds video messages, forgets off switch again

The Color Purple

VoIP and messaging app Viber added a few new weapons to fight Skype.

But first things first: Viber is still ugly like hell, even with the new looks that come with the latest update. Holo looks or not, the Viber purple is only good for the color blind. The new icon is no beauty either. Now that it looks like a text balloon and its corners got rounded it looks a little bit more like WhatsApps icon. Well, the shape does. The color...

OK Computer

And now the purple beast attacks your computer too. Viber made versions for Windows and Mac (no Linux version yet), so Skype faces competition on even more devices.

Viber messages on computers sync with those on phones, and vice versa.

Viber can transfer calls from your phone to your computer or the other way 'round. If you started a call on your computer, you can switch it through to your phone and walk away from your desk. If your battery is about to run dry you can send the call to your computer. Pingponging live calls between phones and computers can be useful, sometimes.

Viber now lets you send video messages too. That doesn't mean its messaging feature can compete with WhatsApp yet, though. But they're inching a little closer. You can make video calls too, but only from your computer. Your phone only Vibers plain old speech.

You Talk Too Much

Too bad the off switch is still broken. If you want to be incommunicado for a while but keep your phone connected to the internet, you have to play with the autostart options on your rooted phone. There's no other way to make Vibers cloud-to-device-messaging service shut up. Same thing if you don't want Viber to autorun when you boot your phone, because Viber doesn't want your phone to run Viberless ever. When will Viber learn that when you're roaming abroad you don't mind a few bytes from WhatsApp, but you're not gonna spend a fortune VoIPing on a horribly expensive international data connection. Simply ignoring incoming calls is not an option, because you can't silence Vibers ringtone.

You can't block contacts on Viber either, so anyone who has your phone number can Viber you, even if you block normal calls in your contacts app.

The new update improved Viber a bit, but apps like Skype and Vonage still have lots of things that Viber doesn't have. It's time for Viber to release a public API so the developers at the xda forums can make custom Vibers for different tastes.


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