Viber Brings HD Voice to Android, as Skype Talks To Facebook/Google

2 minute read
Geoff Spick avatar

Viber (news, site) is the coming-up-on-the-rails alternative to Skype that offers better quality calls and is now available to the massive Android army.

VoIP for Androids

Viber has offered its mobile HD voice and messaging service for iPhone users for a while now, hitting 10 million installs along the way. But iPhone isn't the only game in town and it was only natural that the app would make its way to Android users, allowing both sets of users to chat as one big happy family.

UPDATE - On 25 May, Viber is now claiming over 15 million users after just four months of service. We wonder how many of them have moved over after the Microsoft/Skype deal


Viber hits Android, in beta for now

The app adds some unique features over the iPhone version, including a full call screen when a Viber call is received, popup text notification that lets users reply without the need to open the full app, as well as being able to work as the phone's default dialer -- working for your normal cell calls as well as VoIP calls.

Slow Release

The Android app is being rolled out gradually over a beta period to users who signed up on the company site first. As soon as Viber is satisfied that all is working well, it will be rolled out to the Android Market.

Learning Opportunities

The company is promising broad support for Android devices and has tested the app on most popular models, but is waiting to see if any users have problems across the spectrum of Android devices before claiming 100% compatibility.


Messaging is a recent addition to the Viber app

Skyping Along

Skype, of course, is the daddy of consumer VoIP -- with over 550 million users -- and isn't sitting still as Viber and other rivals come calling. According to Reuters, the company is currently in talks with both Facebook and Google about setting up some kind of deal.

That could possibly a joint venture, which would see its use grow even further and make it a ubiquitous tool alongside the search and social giants. More on that story as it evolves, although it could put an end to Skype's ambition to go public.