Viber: Free Calls and Texts from Your iPhone

VoIP clients (Voice over Internet Protocol) have been all the buzz really since Skype made its debut in 2003. When developers realized the potential behind mobile platforms and VoIP there was a race to see who could get the best quality services out there. Skype introduced its iPhone version in 2009, and while there have been other apps like Nimbuzz that offer ‘package’ IM services, Skype had the most success on the iPhone.

Then came applications like WhatsApp that offered free texting – BBM style. This was hugely popular because it was cross-platform free texting, simply using (a very small amount of) your phone Internet. Further, instead of using a separate account that you have to set up like Skype does, it relied purely on your phone number, and synced with everyone in your phonebook, so anyone who had the app could contact you without having to add them again.

Well what would happen if you combined the glory of free calling that Skype offers and the free texting and use of your mobile number that Whatsapp brings – the answer is Viber.

Getting Started

Viber setup

Viber is a free application that, once installed, will ask for your number and send you a confirmation PIN which you will then have to enter into the app. That’s it, you’ll then have a Viber account. No logging in! The app will use your number as your ‘ID’ and will immediately check your contact list to show you who else has Viber showing a little ‘Viber’ icon next to anyone who has the app installed. Simply tapping on the contact and pressing the “make a free call” or “free text” button will do just that.

While this offers ‘free’ calls and texts, it uses your data plan and although it uses a very small amount of data, it could potentially cost large amounts of money. Check what your service provider offers when Data Roaming is on – be cautious.

Replacing the Dialer app, Forever

Native Phone app on left, Viber on right - showing just the Viber contacts

Viber’s design mimics that of the native dialer app for the iPhone to a tee, so much that they’re almost indistinguishable from each other apart from the purple theme that Viber has. This is because they want you to use this app as a replacement to the native app, and want to make the transformation as simple as possible.

Showing you the Free Call, Free Text and Regular call/text

When you click on a contact that has Viber on their phone you are given to option to place a “free call” as I have already explained, but you also have the choice to place a normal call, and this is what you do when you go to a contact who doesn’t have Viber. Choosing these contacts will place a normal call, launching the native app and using your normal credit (the same is also the case with texting). That is what makes this app so useful:in addition to providing you with the ability to call people from across the world for free, you can use it as your everyday dialer to call and text people who don’t have Viber.

Usability

In terms of usability, I don’t really have many complaints to speak of; the app is pretty quick, definitely quicker than when it originally launched.  It can occasionally be a tiny bit slow when you are making a ‘normal call’ (i.e not using Viber’s free calling) to actually launch the native app, but speed has definitely been improving as the app has been updated and I am sure we will see that ‘lag’ vanish soon.

As for call quality I have found it to be pretty much crystal clear – as good as you are likely to get from a mobile VoIP app. Occasionally you get a poor quality line, more often than not it’s when you get a bad 3G connection but occasionally it happens on wifi and Viber indicates with a little icon telling you about your call quality. In my experience, call quality is better than using the iPhone Skype application both on 3G and wifi, but why don’t you just give it a try. After all – it’s free.

The little icon at the top right tells you of your call quality

Background notifications

As you have come to expect with iOS 4 and the ability for apps to run in the background, Viber does not let you down. You get a notification when you get a text message from Viber or a missed ‘free call’ just like you would a normal call/text, so you don’t have to worry about missing a text or call, as long as you have an Internet connection you can receive calls/texts wherever you are.

Background notifications at its finest

Room for Improvement

After Viber added the greatly desired ‘free texting’ service in the Viber 2.0 update, it had addressed its biggest ‘downfall’ and for me there’s not much to complain about, but there are a few requests that I have.

The main complaint I have with the app is one that is likely impossible to address due to the limitations of the what Apple allows developers to control. If I have been having a few conversations with a couple of friends about something and some have been on Viber and some have been regular texts, then I have to keep switching from Viber to the native messaging client. It would be nice to have all of the communication run through Viber.

As I said, this is is unlikely because I don’t think Apple will let anyone take over texting and calling completely, but I might be wrong. Also it would require Viber having a free voicemail service as well which might be a long-shot.

While some users have reported success on the iPod Touch and iPad, Viber is not fully optimized for them so it may or may not work for you. This is also some thing I would like to see.

Conclusion

Viber is a free app that combines the beauty of free calling that Skype offers along with the ease of phone number ID of WhatsApp to make a super useful utility that can rid you of those expensive international calls and texts.

Simple to set up and even easier to place free calls and texts, it’s really a wonder that you don’t already have it. With constant updates and a great support team you know you are in safe hands, I can not recommend this app enough. After all, the more people that have it, the more money you can save on keeping in touch with your friends.


Summary

Image the beautiful offspring of Skype and WhatsApp - then paint it purple and you have a wonderful VoIP client that can offer you free calls and texts to your friends that have Viber, and it integrates perfectly with your current address book. Its a free application that you reallyl should have.

9
  • http://www.twitter.com/shmilov Michael Shmilov

    Hi,

    Thank you for the great review and feedback.
    My name is Michael, and I’m a product manager at Viber.

    I would like to comment regarding the “Room for Improvement” section:

    1. Regarding an opt-out or ‘don’t tell me again’ option; As your screenshot displays, we do have this option. Only in certain cases such as placing a call from keypad, we will always display this dialog.

    2. “It would be nice to have all of the communication run through Viber”. You are right, due to technical limitations this is not possible. However, it is possible on our android version (which currently being test in a private beta), and we’ll consider your suggestion : )

    Thanks again.

    • Fluffy Raving

      Yes you are right. That was rather foolish of me in the frist suggestion :p. It will be shortly amended :)

      And we understand the technical limitations and look forward to seeing how it works on the android platform :)

    • Cathleen Hartnett

      Can I set up a voicemail facility on Viber?

  • http://www.tradetechsports.com Travis@TradeTechSports

    Personally, Im a big fan of textfree with phone. I know its not exactly “free” for phone calls but I think that app is really user friendly and convenient to use.

  • Iñigo Pimentel

    Well i have been using this app for quite a while doing a lot of overseas texting/calling and first thing i checked is its reliability, i can say it is reliable enough. Thanks to Viber doing this just made it a whole lot cheaper :)

  • http://www.viber.com Viber

    We’re glad to help :)

    • Romain

      Can you tell me why Viber quitted suddenly on ipad 2?

  • Gabrielle Wang

    I’ve been using Viber successfully both texting and talking overseas for more than a month now and really liked it. That is until today. I touched the app on my iphone and instead of the usual page, it treated me like a new customer and brought up a welcome to viber page. I then had to go through setting the account up again but the access code Viber sent me didn’t work. I uninstalled and reinstalled and the same thing happened until in the end I couldn’t get an access code at all. My daughter, who is the person I’ve been communicating with on Viber is having the same problem. Not sure what’s going on here. Do you have any ideas?

  • Ev

    same here. was not able to send txt/call, closed (killed) & open app, then had to go through access code process all over again. Strange. But access code was not recognized. Same happens on other iDevice with a different number. Some viber issue has to be …

  • http://www.viber.com Viber

    All,

    We encountered unexpected issues while upgrading our servers. They were down yesterday, and are coming back up as we speak.
    The problems all of you are describing are all the result of our server problems.

    We apologize for the inconvenience, and we hope that it will return to be fully operational tonight or tomorrow.

    Viber Media.

  • Parachute505

    I’m in the U.S. and having been trying to call my wife who is in Australia, but the calls do not go through. The Viber call just keeps ringing and eventually hangs up. Is this also related to the server issue?

    • http://www.viber.com Viber

      Is the problem new? (did you manage to make calls before?)
      By the way you are describing the problems, it sounds as if you could be behind a firewall or a router.

      1. Please remove and reinstall Viber on both phones.
      2. Please try making a Viber call using different internet connections on both sides in order to identify the problem.

      Does it work?

  • alan poole

    THIS STUPID FUCKING COMPANY CALLS ME EVERY FUCKING DAY HOW DO I GET THEM TO STOP CALLING??? I NEVER SIGNED UP FOR AN ACCESS CODE!

    • http://www.viber.com Viber

      @alan
      Please relax. What do you mean that the company (Viber) calls you every day?

    • anonymous

      I have the exact same problem. Here it s almost 3am and I keep getting calls from 000-000-0000 and a text from 533-551-0029. When I look these numbers up, these numbers are invalid and end up being a dead end. And all the while I continue receiving calls. I can understand your frustration and you have every right to express that. @Michael Shmilov…that name sounds fake if you ask me, but that’s besides the point…don’t go around telling people to relax when this service is an obvious scam or some kind of bogus “free calling/texting service.” Don’t you get annoyed with junk email and phishing attempts in your email inbox? Is it not annoying when people or companies keep bothering you about certain services even after you’ve told them to stop contacting you? Quit spamming people who are paying for a regular service already…if they wanted free, or so its called, service then they will actively search for it. If what you say about the call limit is true (one call every 24 hours) why then have I received no less than 10 calls in the last TWENTY MINUTES?!? Even still, one call every 24 hours is annoying enough.
      I am not done looking into your company’s little spam scam and will do everything in my power to make sure I am not harrassed anymore.

  • steve

    re: stupid company calls each day.

    Basically, someone is harassing you, using Viber as a proxy.

    They “sign up” with viber, giving YOUR number as the number to call..

    Viber needs to limit the number of attempts to use that feature.

    It is like the other form of contact Us spam, where people use the feature “Send me a copy of this email” and put in someone else’s email, thus sending the harassing content via someone else’s server

    • http://www.viber.com Viber

      To be honest, we haven’t encountered this complaint before.
      We ARE limiting the number of codes or voice calls that could be sent (once every 24 hours).

      We naturally don’t have the ability to completely block this feature, but if you have any specific problem with someone harassing you personally, feel free to contact our support team and elaborate on the problem: http://support.viber.com

      • Holly

        I will contact support today. Thank you for the information. I am having a lot of problems as well. The call to give me the “access code” happens three times in a row at all hours of the day including midnight and 4 in the morning! I hope this works!

    • http://www.bing.com/ Kierra

      This is way better than a brick & mortar esbtalsihment.

  • Tariq

    I need to know that if I and my friend both are on wifi but my friends wifi is off how will I come to know that he is not on Viber because at my end it will be a continous no reply

  • http://plssend mehdi

    pls send viber to my email,tank u

  • samira

    i got HTC XL mobile phone can i use viber

  • Ani Azmat

    I am using iPhone 3G and I have installed Viber just recently it’s fantastic but I do not get notifications for Viber calls and massages. Wat do I do

  • gg2201

    There are so many possibilities. Learn English? Learn proper grammar? Learn to use appropriate punctuation? Learn to spell? I didn’t realize Viber was giving massages. Do they come with happy endings? “Wat do u do”

  • kayla spence

    ive got a htc that my friends locked me out of which i need my google account to sign back in. since i dont know my google account, its attached to my viber so i figured i could access that information but i dont know how?

  • amanda yealock

    I have been getting calls and texts from Viber giving me some stupid “access” code. I understand this is for Android and iPhones….here’s the problem… I have a BLACKBERRY and never signed up for this service. Someone needs to tell me how to get them to stop calling please. This is very frustrating because they call time and time again and even leave voicemails. I work for a cell phone company so I don’t need your “services”.

  • Vanessa

    If I call someone internationally and use my wifi, but the person I am calling does not have access to wifi but has Viber installed, is it still a free call for both of us?

  • joseph

    pLEASE LET ME IF THIS VIBER CAN BE DOWNLOADED TO MY PHONE SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE?IT DOESN’T WORK WHEN I TRY TO DOWNLOAD TO MY PHONE..I TRY TO DOWNLOAD USING ANDROID., BUT IT SEEMS IS NOT FOR SAMSUNG?…PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF IT DOESNT WORK TO SAMSUNG..THANK YOU….

  • http://iphone4sinuae sam

    hi every one, i got iphone4s i need to have viber, hear in uae it has block, ple if any one know how to sing up (register) with my mobile write to me if u don’t mind,

  • Hossam

    I am hossam Yasser el sebaey it was my first viber acount wow hahhhhhhhhhh I asked mum
    If I can make an acount she said okay then I made one I like viber

  • Sayda

    I installed the application on my iphone but by mistake when it asked to push notifications I put no and don’t allow and now I keep getting an error saying: Notifications are Off: to use Viber, you must enable Push Notifications. Press “Settings” to enable. Return to Viber and press “Retry”. I have done that over and over and the application will not pass that screen. I have uninstalled the app numerous times and still don’t work.. Can you please help!!!!

  • Ismail Akbari

    I though viber is easy

  • tayzaraung

    I want to get viber account

  • Konjit

    I can’t downlod new virsion because I forgat my password
    So what can I do?

  • http://ilikethis kaunghtetzaw

    အဆင္ေၿပေစဖို့

  • Malik

    Me and my friend are trying to get on viber together. I am from the USA and he is from AUSTRALIA…how do we get this thing to work??

    HELP PLEASE!

  • pankaj Biswakarma

    Hay I’m not getting the code and unable to make my Viber account Pliz help me.

  • http://Viber Shamme Haque.

    Love it.

  • S

    What’s the problem…. I can’t send or receive Viber tonight
    Pls fix this asap

  • Linh

    Hi Experts,

    Could you show me how to use viber via the internet environment which have proxy barrier?
    Despite, in no proxy is ok. Thanks a lot!

  • http://1997 dishadobaria

    ok

  • jun jun rivera

    hi,,,how can i download this vider to my computer thank you….

  • junjun rivera

    hi how can i install this viber to my computer thankyou

  • mikail

    merhabalar vıberden kod geldı benım telefonuma ama kodu gırdıgımde kabul etmedı ben blcakbery kullanıcıyım 9780 yazılı msj lasmanın dısında seslı konusma yapa bılıyormuyum

  • roger

    does it use much data up to make phone calls from the u.s to australia. mobile to mobile.

  • kevin kumah

    sup

  • Sandeep

    .adgj

  • Jen

    Anybody received a message from a Joe Balsamic? Says he is the CEO of Viber? Wanting to spread a text message or your account will be deactivated?

    • M

      I did now. But I don’t believe it.

    • Shaghayegh

      I’ve got it too, but I don’t know if it’s real or spam?!

    • zwe

      yeah!! me too..is it true or spam??

  • Jill

    A cousin fwd me that Joe Balsamic message – i feel it’s a scam! After a glitch i have with a bogus Paypal email a few days ago trying to steal my identity with almost the exact words like the Viber one, i don’t believe it at all!

  • Janine

    I received a message from Joe Balsamic (CEO of Viber). This is the exact whole message (copied and pasted from Viber inbox):

    Message from Joe Balsamic (CEO of Viber) We had an over usage of user names on Viber free calls and texts. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message,we will take it as you account is invalid and it will be deleted within the next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or viber will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to reactive your account after it has been deleted,a charge of€25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the viber team” viber is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user ie you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (sent and then delivered)

    I just wanted to know if this is true or just a spam because I don’t want myself bothering every person in my contact list by sending this message if unnecessary. I hope I get a response from you immediately. Thank you.

    • Reza

      Message from Joe
      Balsamic (CEO of Viber) We had an over usage of user names on Viber free calls and texts. We are requesting all users to forward this message to their entire contact list. If you do not forward this message,we will take it as your account is invalid and it will be deleted within next 48 hours. Please DO NOT ignore this message or viber will no longer recognise your activation. If you wish to reactivate your account after it has been deleted,a charge of€25.00 will be added to your monthly bill. We are also aware of the issue involving the pictures updates not showing. We are working diligently at fixing this problem and it will be up and running as soon as possible. Thank you for your cooperation from the viber team” viber is going to cost us money soon. The only way that it will stay free is if you are a frequent user ie you have at least 10 people you are chatting with. To become a frequent user send this message to 10 people who receive it (sent and then delivered)

  • mahmood

    Hi
    thanks for viber.
    please show who is on & off.
    send to group has a problem. It is not a good way now.
    best regards
    Mahmood

  • Hein Set Moe Wint

    I don’t think it’s real coz Joe B. is not the CEO of Viber.
    Just a spam.

    • bill

      Correct, Talmon Marco is the CEO of Viber and not a certain Balsamic..

  • Kiran

    Kindly tell me how can I block a contact

  • Mimi

    Can you please tell me how to block a person from viber!!!!

  • mohammed

    mohammed

  • mohammed

    honest man

  • yosha

    i downloaded it but it is not working ,why?

  • Mary

    I have used Viber on my iPhone for some time but it doesn’t even show up as an available app on my iPad. Can I not use it on an iPad?

  • http://German Ahmad

    Hi

  • Imran

    Hi!!!!
    I’m very very thankful to Viber team, you guys made my life easy… It’s a relly amazing job!!!

    Just wanted to know, is there any limit of making calls in viber?

    I’ll be waiting fr ur reply.
    Thank u!!!

  • Imran

    Hi!!!!
    I’m very very thankful to Viber team, you guys made my life easy… It’s a relly amazing job!!!
    Just wanted to know, is there any limit of making calls in viber?
    I’ll be waiting fr ur reply.
    Thank u!!!

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow