Technology with attitude

Which app wins: Viber or Skype?

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Voice-over applications are becoming increasingly popular. With Viber and Skype offering free services, you are a little spoiled. Of course, you should never choose an application impulsively. You need to know both applications and compare their capabilities.

The difficulty of comparing Viber and Skype is knowing the criteria to look out for. These are a few qualities you should compare before settling on either to use for voice calling and text messaging.

1. User-friendliness

In terms of user-friendliness, both applications are extremely easy to download, install and use. All you need to do is visit your mobile phone store, search for and download them. When installing the versions for desktops, the only effort needed from you is following links and running the applications.

However, this is where the similarity ends. Both applications function differently. Skype is primarily a desktop application which needs a password. It is all you need to key in before using it to place calls. As a desktop application, it works better than Viber, which needs installation on a mobile phone before you can run it on a desktop.

As a mobile application, Viber works better. As it uses your mobile number to recognize you, your contacts will as well. Without the need for password recognition, there is less stress.

2. Popularity

Launched in 2003, Skype has been on the VOIp market for a greater number of years than Viber. With the ability it gives to send text messages, take part in group chats and make free video calls, it has engaged more than 700 million users worldwide. The newer Viber, in contrast, has only 360 million users.

While a greater number of users does not necessarily mean that an application’s technical quality is better, it does show how well it services its users. Viber, less developed and experienced in terms of being a desktop application, has not captured the entire VOIp market yet.

3. Cross-Platform availability

Use Skype on your IOS, Android, Nokia or BlackBerry phone without difficulty. You can download it for Windows or Mac desktop as well.

Viber is available across platforms, but the application is newer on desktops and Windows phones. The application’s functions on these platforms are probably less reliable.

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4. Data consumption

Mobile users should have awareness about the amount of data being consumed by their applications, as higher data usage means higher costs. Depending on your 3G or 4G data plan, you will have to pay for the number of megabytes an application consumes.

Skype uses more data than Viber, which only needs 250 megabytes to run. You will definitely have to wrestle with a higher phone bill.

5. Reception

As it uses high-quality, enhanced HD codecs, Skype definitely has an edge over Viber. Viber’s developers have only recently started adding HD audio codecs to the application. Your call will sound clearer if you use Skype.

6. Features

Viber launched in 2010, which means that Skype had a seven-year head start as a voice over application. Skype’s developers have undoubtedly created more features over those years.

Skype has a voice recording feature that Viber does not. It also enables multiple participants in voice calls, unlike Viber.

7. Exclusivity

Apart from its wide range of features, Skype allows you to contact those who do not have a Skype account. Sending them a message is possible if they have a Microsoft ID. You can call anyone who uses a phone.

Viber has recently enabled users to do the same. Both applications are comparable in this regard.

8. Cost

As of this moment, making calls and sending messages on Viber is free, though the application’s developers are now thinking of including premium services to generate revenue. Call anyone’s cell phone or landline, anywhere in the world.

With Skype, making international calls is not free. Their cost depends on each country’s phone charges. If you want more features, better reception, and cross-platform availability, Viber is your best bet. If cost is an issue, Viber is the obvious choice.