Why Viber isn’t the biggest mobile voice-over-data (or VoIP, to those in the know) app among the growing iPhone populace is a mystery to us. Yes, you can use Skype and, chances are, a good deal of your mates will already use it. Your family, too. It’s the Facebook of VoIP, if you will.
But Viber does away with the messy business of seeking out your contacts, easily the most tiresome job of a newcomer to any social network. Admittedly, many will let you search out your friends (and possibly more) via Facebook or your webmail contacts, but you have to flinchingly give over your login details to some unknowable database and even then, you find mates have been lax about updating all their various social outlets. It’s a lost cause.
So Viber does it for you. You leave the app running in the background, where it promises to use no battery power, and head over to your run-of-the-mill iPhone contacts list. There you’ll find the comfortable purple blister of Viber’s insignia next to those nearest and dearest who’ve got the app running.
Gone is the fruitless call to a Skype account that’s offline (or abandoned). If your phone call’s recipient has the purple dot, their phone is on and Viber is running. If they don’t answer, they didn’t hear it. Or they’re busy. Or they don’t like you (and there’s no app for that).
It’s such a seamless approach to VoIP calling, it’s a wonder it’s taken anyone this long to implement it. Sadly, word has travelled slowly on the tech grapevine and you’re currently unlikely to find many of your contacts using the service. Download, evangelise, and that could change. In most cases, VoIP is still the preserve of the long-distance phone caller. Viber wants to change that. And it’s probably in your best interests to help.