Viber for iOS Review: Put On a Happy Face
Usually, we can select between Viber, WhatsApp, and some other services. But Viber for iOS (for some reasons) is a kind of exception. The first reason is that you’re not limited to iPhone and can use Viber on iPad or iPod Touch. You don’t have to have a SIM card in your device. There’s even more: the official Viber app is iPad-friendly and very comfortable to use.
Still you have to have a cellular phone near when activating Viber. The basic principle is the same: you use your phone number as a login and let the system search your phone book to add contacts to your Viber contact list easily. It doesn’t matter whether you already have Viber on your phone or not. Anyway after installing the app you enter your number and wait for an activation code to be sent. Then you enter the 6-digit code into a special field on the activation screen. That’s all, the app is ready.
A Closer Look
Unfortunately, the app doesn’t download your chatting history from Viber clouds. Neither does it connect to iCloud to save the history. But the new messages you send or receive will be added to the general history, so they will be available on the devices you have installed Viber onto before.
You can also send different types of data: images and videos, links, locations, contacts. The data you receive will be opened in the right app (as you have set it). You’ll only have to tap the location to open it in your Map app, a new contact will be added to your phone book (and you’ll be able to edit it manually if you have to), and so on.
Well, even if your device has no cellular module, you can use it as a Viber phone. Most Apple gadgets have a mic and speech dynamic. And virtually all of them can work with wired or wireless headsets. So you can send and receive voice messages and (even more important) talk on the phone, speaking and listening at the same time.
This duplex mode appeared in Viber even before WhatsApp developers did the same. It works fast and mostly well. Sometimes there are delay and distortion that can ruin your conversation, but this doesn’t happen often. Reconnecting usually fixes it. Video streaming is only available on devices with a front camera. But anyway you can watch the other side if it started video connection.
Another popular Viber feature is stickers. They make the communication much more interesting and emotional than simple emoticons. The stickers are large and colorful. The service proposes different sets with pictures speaking louder than words. Some of them are free, others are commercial. Well, there’s always a free set available, and paid ones are sometimes proposed for free.
Finally, it has built-in social games. You can invite your friends, share your results, just spend your time between messaging without a necessity to quit Viber. Most of those games are lightweight and casual. You can download them directly from within Viber. The interface is available in many languages (34 and counting). It automatically selects your system language while installing.
Since 2015, the service has agreed to innovations of Russian law and started storing Russian users’ private data in data centers in Russian Federation (though some would trust the service more if it kept their data abroad).
The Bottom Line
This feature is good both for roaming calls and for international calls from your home. Of course, you don’t have to keep any funds on your Viber balance to use its free services. So your contact list is split into two sections: Viber users and all users. To call someone with no Viber, you’d have to activate Viber Out feature. And it’s up to you to decide whether it’s worth it.
Basically, the iOS version has the same functionality as other mobile Viber apps do. So if you switch to iOS from Android or Windows Phone, you’ll see the same old Viber. The app is stable and receives updates frequently.
Viber is a greap app and it definitely deserves the space it'll use on your phone.