Post image for Viber–the best iPhone VoIP experience yet.

Viber–the best iPhone VoIP experience yet.

by alec on December 3, 2010

Viber is a new VoIP client for iPhone users that provides free calling between Viber users.  Plus, it’s a free download from the Apple App Store.  Free and free.  You can’t get much better than that, can you?

Some folks are hyping this application as the Skype Killer on mobile devices.  High praise! I thought I’d give it a shot, so I downloaded and installed it, then made a few calls.

Here’s the straight scoop.

Installation – dead easy.  Download, install, authorize and you’re done.

Contacts – pretty easy, although not fool proof.  Viber looks through your address book, compares it to Viber’s list of known users, and then tags the folks it knows about that are in your in your address book.  For the most part, it worked well, except that the application crashed every time I tried to access pal Pat Phelan’s contact.   Perhaps Viber has a thing about Irish telecom entrepreneurs, or maybe just the ones who are potential competitors.

User Experience – amazing.  This is the way mobile VoIP is meant to be.  Really!  Viber runs in the background on the iPhone.  When an incoming call is directed to your phone, a push notification with ring tone pops up, you answer, Viber pops into the foreground and you speak.  It works like a phone, and it’s good enough to replace Apple’s own dialer on iPhone.  Huzzah!  It’s what we all hoped Skype would deliver, but hasn’t yet.

Call Quality – good, bad, and ugly.

  • Good: Viber uses wideband audio between Viber users.  Not only is the audio quality better, the echoes that I sometimes hear when calling iPhone to iPhone disappear.  It’s a huge improvement, and works well on both WiFi and 3G networks, here in Canada.
  • Bad: Latency is an issue.  At the beginning of a call there is a pronounced lag, which catches up a few seconds into the call.  It’s fine after a minute or so of talking but disconcerting at the start.
  • Ugly: Networks are Viber’s Achilles Heel. I talked to my son on Rogers here in Ottawa.  Excellent quality, even on 3G. I called Andy Abramson in San Diego.  He answered on WiFi first, with great quality.  Then he switched to AT&T 3G.  While he could hear me clearly, I couldn’t understand a word he said.  Oops!

Overall, I give Viber an A-.  As a first effort it’s fabulous, and I certainly recommend trying it to see if it will work for you.

Does Viber warrant the label Skype Killer?  Not yet, and maybe never.  Nevertheless, I plan to use it.  A lot.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Viber Media December 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Hi,

Thank you for your article. We pretty much agree with everything you say (the good, the bad, the ugly :) ).

Pat – We don't hate Pat :) Can you please send us your phone account number and pat's phone number as well – perhaps via a screenshot so we can see how its registered on your phone. We'd like to understand and fix.

Latency at the beginning of the call – this is an issue with our Adaptive Jitter Buffer (in case you are interested..) and we are working to fix it. It's a well known issue.

As for AT&T – Nothing we can do about that. We can handle relatively high packet loss and other network oddities, but when the network is real bad, nothing can help. We tried to reduce bandwidth consumption in these conditions, but nothing helps. Viber is coming to Verizon next quarter which should give Viber users more network options.

Thank you for your coverage!

Reply

Viber Media December 4, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Correction to previous comment: Viber is coming to Android, not Verizon (which will make it accessible to Verizon users).

Reply

JEFF December 4, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I USED VIBER IN MY FIRST IPHONE IT WORK FINE, BUT WHEN I INSERT MY SIM TO ANOTHER IPHONE VIBER WAS NOT WORK, I MADE A SET UP PROCESS AND THEN SUCCESS THE CODE WAS SENT AGAIN TO ANOTHER IPHONE WITH THE SAME NUMBER. WHICH I USED BEFORE.
THE PROBLEM IS WHEN I INSERT AGAIN THE SIM TO MY FIRST ONE VIBER WONT WORK ANYMORE PLS HELP

Reply

Viber Media December 7, 2010 at 2:55 am

Hi Jeff,
We are happy to hear that you've decided to use Viber, like millions around the world. We are currently checking the problem you described, and we would like to invite you to post your problem in our official Viber Support Forum at http://support.viber.com

In our Viber forums, we will be happy to assist you with any other question or suggest you might have.

Reply

Adam in NZ December 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

Here in New Zealand , iphone Data is very expensive, how much does Viber burn just running in the back ground ?

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admin December 10, 2010 at 6:30 am

I haven't measured, Adam, but it should be very low. Apple only allows background VOIP apps to run a keep-alive every 10 minutes.

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dhanpal December 14, 2010 at 8:01 am

hi all.

i have a 3G iphone & it runs on OS4.its a jailbroken phone.Viber isnt running on this.when i enter my phone# & click ontinue ,it doesnt sends me any code at all.i checked all the setting & they are all correct as per instructions on VIBER,still no luck.can any one help.im stuck on the screen where i have to enter phone# & click continue.i havnt received the code since 3 weeks now.can some1 please help?

thanks

dhanpal

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Arno December 14, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Lucky me, I did not get to deal with the "ugly" yet :)
I'm experiencing GREAT quality call so far between my Iphone over 3G in France (Orange), and my girlfriend's one in Middle East over Wifi.
I mean really, call quality is (way muuuch) better than Skype, better than the €12cts/min VOIP solution I'm using when she's not over Wifi, and even better than direct GSM calls between us. Alec, you are not exagerating about the "huge improvement" about echo, it feels like the person is next to you, in a soundproof room.
I was just wondering what is the average bandwidth consumption of a minute spent on Viber (my 3G plan has regular bandwidth up to 500Mo/month, over this limit bandwdth is drasticaly reduced) ?

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iFlo - USA December 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Well I downloaded Viber and tried to call a relative in France and didn't get through but got an error message saying that the phone number was restricted. I don't know if it is from my T-Mobile settings (this shouldn't have anything to do with as use exclusively Wifi for VoiP and internet) or from my nephew's setting/suscription. Anyway, it did not work at all. Now, my nephew does not have Viber yet on his cellphone (a non-apple iPhone). If Viber works only on any Apple iPhone, so this soft is totally useless for me and that will really really upset me. I am missing something?

Reply

Viber December 17, 2010 at 12:57 am

Hi everyone,

I have 2 good news :)

First – A NEW VERSION OF VIBER IS AVAILABLE!
the main, important things that were fixed are:
- fixed: call screen disappears during call
- fixed: crash during startup
- fixed: voice engine audio interrupt issues (e.g. incoming GSM call)

get your new Viber version with all the latest fixes, and see the full list of fixes at: http://itunes.apple.com/app/viber-free-phone-call

Second – there is now a special Viber Newsletter for Android users.
If you have an Android, and can't wait until Viber could work with your phone, please register to our Newsletter, and get all the latest updates to your email: http://eepurl.com/bW1Ln

Feel free to reply to me with any question you have,
Viber Team.

Reply

Myrna Beard December 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm

hi all. i have a 3G iphone & it runs on OS4.its a jailbroken phone.Viber isnt running on this.when i enter my phone# & click ontinue ,it doesnt sends me any code at all.i checked all the setting & they are all correct as per instructions on VIBER,still no luck.can any one help.im stuck on the screen where i have to enter phone# & click continue.i havnt received the code since 3 weeks now.can some1 please help? thanks dhanpal

Reply

Jeff December 24, 2010 at 11:03 pm

I also have the same problem with dhanpal my phone is jailbreak how can we use viber if your phone has been jail break?

Please help!

Reply

andy December 30, 2010 at 2:03 am

Hello

Can anyone tell me what are the charges making international calls with viber?

I want to be absolutely sure that I dont incure high call charges when I make calls from here in London to another country or when I make calls from another country back to UK.

Thanks
Andy

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Viber December 31, 2010 at 2:04 am

Hey everyone,
This is the Viber Team.

As we promised, I am now excited to announce that we have a new solution for the SMS-code problem!
If you still did not get the SMS (text message) with the activation code of Viber, please check out the following link that explains how to fix it: http://support.viber.com/entries/360078-what-shou

Please let us know if this really helped you activate and use Viber.

we wish you Happy New Year!
the Viber Team.

Reply

Osbourne March 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I like very much. So good

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Hugh June 21, 2011 at 5:58 am

No matter what I do I still can’t register with viber. Can’t get an access code and it won’t call me back.
Am running iPhone 4 – 4.3.3 not jailbroken

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asaunders June 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Hi Hugh, sorry to hear about your troubles. Have you tried contacting Viber directly?

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ViberTeam August 29, 2011 at 8:33 am

I apologize for the (very) late response.
Are you still having problems receiving the code?

Reply

dana November 10, 2011 at 11:13 am

i just downloaded viber to my iphone 4s, and i tried to log out when i went away from wireless so that it wouldn't eat up my data plan when i was on 3G but i found no such option, will viber use up a lot of my data plan if it just runs in the background?

Reply

alexis Barnabé November 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Same questions that dana has!

Reply

juliet December 7, 2011 at 6:56 am

Now a days Voip and sip calls are more important for us, so we need to get voip , sip service provider that they give us better service and support to setup very carefully, I am impressed to a voip , sip service provider. If you need better service visit the link
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Working with RTP in VoIP SIP calls

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Yeahlink June 26, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Personally I don't think it is a Skype killer, I have used Skype since the app came to iOS and I haven't ever had a problem, I think it's great. Some friends have used Viber but I don't think I'll be switching soon!

Reply

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