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. Read More
A nice update for the VoIP app Viber has just been dropped into Google Play with some highly desired features, so get ready to call everyone you know to deliver the good news. Presumably you will call them with Viber.
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. Read More
The low-cost Sprint MVNO FreedomPop just launched its freemium phone service last month, but now it's expanding phone selection by letting users bring their own handsets. However, that doesn't mean you can take just any Sprint device over the FreedomPop and kiss your bill goodbye – there are some restrictions.
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. Read More
Users of Google Voice have long called for the company to pay more attention to the seemingly forgotten service for quite some time. Unfortunately, they may be getting more than they were hoping for. While many people are thrilled to hear Voice will finally support MMS and become a part of Hangouts in early 2014, Google is also planning to close up shop for all 3rd-party apps that relied on the service for free texting and VoIP calling. Read More
Update: Vic Gundotra, Google's SVP of Engineering, had this to say after posting on Google+ about the new Voice update:
Guys, don't worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don't get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people :-)
So chill out: it looks like VOIP for Voice is coming to Android sooner or later. Read More
Viber provides a way to get around those pricey carrier bills for messaging, and it throws in free VoIP calls too. The app has been in need of an overhaul for a while, and now it's here. Viber has been updated to be snappier and includes a few new features.
There are many VoIP clients out there for Android, such as Skype and Viber. They save users from having to place calls over their cell network, potentially using up minutes that they may not have. This behavior eats into carriers' profits, so it's no surprise that they'd prefer if we avoided putting these apps on our phones. It's more surprising, though, to hear that one carrier has chosen to make one of these apps themselves. Read More
So here's the thing, Skype just received a major 4.0 redesign introducing a whole new look and feel that would feel at home on any Metro device. It just so happens that Metro's UI is pretty Holo-friendly. Windows Phone influence or no, the new version of Skype should still feel right at home on your Android phone of choice.
The new release doesn't usher in a wave of new features along with the new coat of paint, but Skype does boast that it is much faster and reliable, with emphasis placed on improving performance and load times. Read More