Viber, an Israeli firm which lets users send free text messages, photo messages and video messages, has announced the release of its new version 5.0 for its app for use with Android and iOS operated mobile platforms.
A direct competitor with Skype, Viber lets users make free HD-quality calls to other Viber users on iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry, as well as on desktop computers using Windows, Mac, Symbian, Nokia S40 and Bada devices over 3G/4G or WiFi connections.
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It has over 360 million users in more than 193 countries and the company says that it is continually innovating by introducing new platforms and adding new features including stickers and emoticons.
“We’re delighted to bring video calling to mobile, ” said Talmon Marco, Viber CEO. “Now that you can make video calls from your phone as well as on your PC and Mac, you can always talk in the way that’s most convenient for you, wherever you happen to be.”
In addition to video calls, Viber 5.0 also includes an easier way to manage contacts by simply adding the Viber number or scanning a special QR code, along with a number of OS specific enhancements. For example, iOS users can manage sticker packs more easily, turn sticker packs on or off, reorder sticker packs, as well as easily forward photo messages, while Android users will see a new redesign, making it easier and more fun, the company stated.
Viber also announced enhancements to its desktop application for Windows, Windows 8 and OS X. Desktop v4.3 will have a new and improved design, a backgrounds gallery and many improvements and bug fixes. Win 8 v3.2 features a new and improved design, an updated snap mode with stickers, emoticons and notifications. Viber also boasted that other highlights and bug fixes include an easier way to search contacts, the ability to see online contacts from the home screen and PNG support for photo messages.
Viber is developed by Viber Media, a privately held company founded in February 2010. It was acquired by the Japanese firm Rakuten for $900 million in February.