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?