All the Voice Over IP talk in the last day or two has focused on a certain Google property, but Hangouts isn't the first one available on Android, and certainly not the most full-featured. Seven months after being acquired by Japanese retailing giant Rakuten, mobile call and text app Viber is getting a major refresh. Version 5.0 has a new look for both phones and tablets, but the big news is that the app now supports video calling.
Rakuten is often referred to by western media as "the Amazon of Japan." That description seems more and more apt given some of the mega-retailer's recent purchases, including Canadian e-reader company Kobo. Yesterday Rakuten announced that it had purchased Viber, an up-and coming voice-over-IP company with apps on Android, iOS, and Windows, among others, for a whopping $900 million.
Viber is primarily a Skype competitor, though it also offers text and picture messaging, group chat, and cross-communication between mobile and desktop operating systems.
Viber is what you get when you take a free VoIP service, create an app for it, and smother it with purple. Any two people with the app installed can communicate with one another via voice or text entirely for free. Now the team is adding in the ability to make low-cost calls to any dedicated phone number.
Users can buy credits for "Viber Out" via in-app purchases within either the mobile or desktop software.
Looking to save a few bucks by using VoIP apps instead of voice minutes? I hear you. It's not exactly difficult to find a plan offering unlimited talk, but with a new Sprint MVNO popping up every couple of weeks and such affordable deals as T-Mobile's $30 5GB prepaid plan still lingering around, it's worth taking a look at cheaper options. Viber's latest update has rolled out, doing its part to make transitioning to VoIP all the more attractive.
It's a pretty big day for Viber, the popular VoIP application that brings "free messages and calls" to your mobile. Seems that the guys behind the app (appropriately named Viber Media) have been hard at work preparing not only major updates to the Android and iOS applications, but also on an all-new desktop client for Windows and Mac.
The update to the Android version of the app brings many new features, including a new Holo'd-out look.
Viber is a popular VoIP calling app for iPhones that is poised to launch for the Android Market in the next few days. Today, it started offering invites to users to test out its Android offerings. I signed up and was thoroughly impressed with it despite the app still being in beta.
Viber can be set as your default dialing app, so if one of your contacts has Viber installed the call will automatically connect through Viber over your data connection (WiFi or 3G) instead of using your voice minutes.