Viber 3.0 introduces video calling on new desktop client, plus improved Android app UI

May 7, 2013
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    Desktop-PC-and-Android-w645

    Viber has recently launched version 3.0 of its Android and iOS applications, promising a fresh user experience on Android and a new desktop client for cross-device messaging, calling and even video calls.

    Viber today launched its latest release, which promises an overhauled experience for Android users. In an interview with Android Authority, Viber CEO Talmon Marco said the Android app has been reworked from ground up to conform to user interface standards set for the platform.

    “We started development on Viber in 2010. At that time, there were no design guidelines for Android,” Marco said, stressing that the Android interface until now closely echoed Viber for the iPhone. However “what’s good for back then is no longer good now.” As such, the team has revamped the user experience and “completely renovated Viber on Android. It’s a brand new app, and it’s something we consider to be beautiful, amazing, gorgeous.”

    The 3.0 update also resolves the security vulnerability reported late last month. While that vulnerability has already been patched, this update ensures that the flaw — which lets a third party access your device by sending a certain combination of messages — is no longer a problem.

    Viber on desktop

    The key update for this release is the launch of a new desktop application for Windows and OS X. With the new application, Viber promises a seamless messaging and calling experience across smartphones and desktop or notebook computers. Marco highlights how a user can seamlessly switch from one’s smartphone to the desktop with the tap of a “call transfer” button, and vice versa. The call does not get cut off.

    In a similar vein, messaging is also smart and seamless. At the first instance, Viber rings all of your devices. But once you start chatting on one device, the others will be muted, so you don’t get incessant alerts on all devices.

    Additionally, messages are synced across devices, which gives several benefits. First, whichever message or thread you delete on one device will also be deleted on others, thereby reducing redundancy and the need to do maintenance on several devices (Marco says Viber supports up to 50 desktop clients). Secondly, messages you read on one device will not remain unread on another device, which is usually a big gripe for users who have their IM and VoIP client on different devices.

    Improved quality

    Apart from the new client launch, Viber has reworked its VoIP engine for better-quality voice calls. Marco shared that Viber calls work well even with speeds as low as 8 Kbps — yes, that’s Kilobits per second. And as you go higher in speed, the voice quality improves even further. Voice calls also work seamlessly while switching from one type of connection to another. As such, Viber calls can hop from cellular to WiFi connectivity without skipping a beat. As a Viber review puts it, simplicity and straightforwardness are among the main benefits of Viber, as compared to competitors like Skype or Fring.

    An added benefit of the desktop client is video calling, with Viber now supporting video calls across Windows and OS X clients. A client for Linux is also in the works. Video calling is not yet supported for the mobile client, but the team is working on adding this functionality.

    Mobile-centric experience

    But even with the launch of a desktop client, Marco says Viber remains mobile-centric. In fact, you can only sign up with the service from a smartphone. This ensures that you already have a populated contact list, which consists of other users in your phonebook who are already on Viber. In contrast, other VoIP clients let you start out with an empty contact list that you have to manually populate. Once you have an account set from your mobile device and number, you can then sign in from the desktop client.

    Viber is a free download from Google Play and the iTunes App Store. The desktop client can be downloaded from Viber’s website: Viber for Mac and Viber for Windows. If you’re worried you won’t have anyone to talk to, consider that Viber has already grown to 200 million users — up from the 140 million the service had as of end 2012. Viber is reportedly growing 400,000 users per day, and the introduction of video calling and desktop apps is likely to help increase the app’s popularity even further.

    Comments

    • IncCo

      Great stuff

    • http://www.facebook.com/sagar.jaisinghan1 Sagar Jaisinghani

      Simply amazing innovation….

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Uzo-Ufondu/43604801 Uzo Ufondu

      I love using Viber but it seems that whenever I install it on my Verizon galaxy note 2, it somehow messes with my text messaging and I have to restart the phone to send messages.

      • http://www.viber.com/ Viber

        Hi Uzo,

        Please elaborate on the problem, so we could help.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Uzo-Ufondu/43604801 Uzo Ufondu

          Whenever it is installed on my Verizon galaxy note 2, my text messages stop sending and after a while, I can’t even access my text message inbox because it does that I have no messages. There is absolutely nothing that I can think of to do (including clearing data from messages in phone settings) that remedies the situation, except to restart the phone. It’s a shame because I really enjoy using the app, but that issue makes it impossible to keep on my phone

          • http://www.viber.com/ Viber

            Thank you for the report of the problem.

            We kindly ask that you take a minute and report the details of the problem to our support team using this direct link: http://bit.ly/ukGVJ0 (when you submit the ticket, please make sure to add the URL of our conversation). With this information, our development team will hopefully be able to find the source of the problem, and ultimately resolve it.

            Thanks in advance :)

    • tojai

      Nice updates..
      Although I wonder how the hell they are making their money..
      The only deal that I know if, is the one they had with Nokia..

      • http://www.viber.com/ Viber

        Currently, Viber’s focus is on adding new features and integrating with more platforms, as well as improving overall system performance. At the same time, we are working on additional premium services that will generate revenue once they become available. The basic Viber service – Viber-to-Viber phone calls and text messages – will always remain free.

    • http://www.viber.com/ Viber

      Hi,

      This is an official representative from Viber.

      We are thrilled about our new releases, and we hope that our users and fans out there will make the most out of them.

      As usual, we’re here to address our users’ questions and doubts directly. If you need assistance, please don’t hesitate to let us know :)

      Best regards,

      the Viber Team.

    • Edge

      great app…it will be more fantastic if video calling will be available also to mobile devices…

      • http://www.viber.com/ Viber

        This is something we’re considering to add in the future… :)

        Thanks for your kind compliments!

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