Viber, a mobile VoIP app for the iPhone launched today. There are plenty of mobile VoIP apps for the iPhone, but each has its weakness, including Skype, which is a battery hog. Viber's claim to fame is that it doesn't use buddy lists or require registration. Instead, your phone number is your username
. The catch is in order to make phone calls your friends also have to be Viber users. Once they join, calls to them are free and with higher quality than traditional GSM cell calls.
Once you launch the app it asks your cell phone number and then sends a SMS with a PIN to confirm that is indeed your number. Then after allowing the app to view your contacts, you can see which of your contacts are also Viber users (icon indicator) and initiate a free VoIP call over WiFi or 3G.
The nice thing about Viber is that it can run in the background and receive phone calls. However, even if you don't have it running in the background, you can still receive a push notification, click 'Answer', and then the app is launched to accept the call. The app supports Bluetooth headsets as well. Viber only works with other Viber users. If you attempt to call a non-Viber user, it simply defaults to the iPhone's GSM connection and dialer. So it is a bit limiting in that you need other Viber users for this to be effective. It does have a nifty Invite feature within the Contacts screen to quickly invite someone to Viber.
It's not a bad mobile VoIP app, but I still prefer Whistle Phone
. Unlike Viber, Whistle Phone gives you a free DID number and free outbound calls to PSTN numbers (with 15s commercial) as well as free Whistle Phone calls to other Whistle Phone users. You can even use Whistle Phone with other SIP credentials.
Viber is working on an Android version.
Download Viber here