Viber becomes more Accessible on iOS, not such good news for PC and Mac

A new version of Viber for iOS is now available in the App Store.

 

Viber is in a pretty difficult market, with Microsoft’s Skype being so dominant. But they have carved out a niche for themselves thanks to the simplicity of the way the app works.

 

With Skype, you need some kind of user ID whether that be a traditional Skype account, or more latterly your Facebook or Microsoft account. Viber, on the other hand, is kind of like a cross-platform, audio-only version of FaceTime. If someone has Viber installed, and they have your phone number in their contacts, then they can contact you on Viber. No fuss, and the audio quality is excellent.

 

One big advantage over Apple’s FaceTime, is that Viber is cross-platform, meaning you can call your contacts who have the software on their Android, Symbian S40 and S60, Blackberry and Windows Phone devices.

 

Viber used to have some serious accessibility issues under iOS, with the contact list not speaking well. This has been improving steadily, and with the latest build it appears to me so far to be a very accessible app.

 

Sadly, the news is not all good with the latest viber offerings. Viber has now come to the big toys, with versions for PC and Mac. Neither the PC nor Mac versions appear accessible. I was not able to get past the first screen of either app.

 

Hopefully, Viber will address this in the same way they have addressed iOS accessibility, although it’s a shame accessibility doesn’t seem to be in the DNA of the company.

 

Further, with this sort of functionality now also being built into apps like Facebook Messenger, which has critical mass, Viber has it’s work cut out. But on iOS, it’s an elegant solution that does what it says it will, and does it well.

 

Have you given Viber a try yourself? What do you think, and how well is it working if you are using it on platforms other than iOS with assistive technology?

5 Comments

  1. Penny

    Hi Jonathan, I tried using Viber about a month ago. I was calling my daughter who was then in Austrailia and is now in Wellington, NZ. Anyway, we couldn’t get the connection to work, and when she texted me to suggwest that we try again a little later, I couldn’t get her text message to work with VoiceOver. But, maybe we’ll try it again with the improvements. I was very favorably impressed with the app’s overall accessibility until I ran into the problem with reading the text aloud. Thanks for the update.

  2. Viber

    Hi,
    This is an official representative from Viber.
    Thank you for this article!
    It’s very important for us that Viber will be accessible for everyone and we will keep on improving accessibility in all of our products.

    We’d be happy to receive your feedback. 🙂

    Best regards,
    the Viber Team.

  3. Villy

    I hope the Viber team would make it accessible for windows pc users soon. I badldly need it for communication purposes.

  4. Igor

    Hello,
    I would also want to see Viber accessible on the Windows and Mac osx platforms. It would make life much easier for those already using the mobile app.

Comments are closed.