Tonight I got an email inviting me to download the beta of Viber for Android. Friends, family, strangers in the street, basically anyone with an iPhone, have been going on about this app for months, telling me that I had to get it and that it’s fantastic.
Well I downloaded the beta tonight and installed it on my Samsung Galaxy S. The beta is not available from the market, so it had to be downloaded directly from the Viber website. This means that you will have to allow your phone to install non market apps. You can do this by going to the Application Settings screen and then checking "Unknown sources". After installing the software, it didn’t work, so I did what every I.T. guy does in such cases. I turned it off and on again! After the phone rebooted, Viber started and worked out which of my contacts had Viber and added them to the Viber contacts screen.
My first call was somewhat successful. The call connected without an issue, but call quality was not brilliant. There was feedback, a lag when talking and a shrillness to the voice. Turns out that whilst I was on wifi, the person I was calling was using a 3G Data connection. It worked, but….. well it seemed so 5 years ago.
My second call was more successful. I received a call from a friend in Germany. Call quality was excellent, no lag, no feedback, no shrillness to the voice. It was certainly as good as the best quality Skype calls I have made.
I do wonder if having Viber running constantly in the background will have a serious affect on the battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S. Like many smart phones out there, the Galaxy S would not be known for having amazing battery life. Sometimes I do miss my Nokia 6310i.
Anyway, so far so good. The app works, is relatively easy to use and call quality can be decent. I’ll give it a week and see if I find it really useful.