Viber vs WhatsApp – what to choose?
Social networks live their lives for quite some time now, and with the emergence of smartphones, free communication became available in a number of ways. How Android and iOS platforms developed, two applications dealing with instant messaging became very popular: Viber and WhatsApp.
Let’s start with Viber. It became available for the first time on iOS devices in December 2010, and it represented direct competition to Skype. Android version became available in May the following year, at the maximum number of users was limited to 50000 at the time, which makes this something of a test phase, only to have the full version with no limitations launched in July the same year. Over time, and with updates, Viber reached amazing popularity, first as an instant messaging service, and later as service that offered high quality (HD) calls. At the time of writing, the current Android Viber version is 22.214.171.124, while the iOS version is 8.0.0.
WhatsApp is very similar to Viber, and it became available in 2009. Leading developing programmers of WhatsApp are Brian Action and Jan Koum which were previously employed by Yahoo, and one of them was even denied a job in Facebook. In 2014, Facebook bought WhatsApp for around 22 billion dollars, while the number of active users was around 600 million. Just as Viber, WhatsApp is a cross platform application. The current WhatsApp version for Android is 2.17.427, and for iOS it is 2.1.82.
In general, Viber has a “richer” interface, while WhatsApp retained the simplicity despite its many updates. The WhatsApp UI gives an impression that everything is only a tap away, which is very good. Viber has pretty unnecessary sticker which make the interface more complicated than it should be, they make the application heavier and take a lot of memory. These stickers can represent an advantage to the younger population, but we “grown-ups” prefer the speed and the simplicity of WhatsApp.
Voice and video call quality
The quality of both voice and video calls still depends a lot on the quality of the connection, since these are still VoIP applications. You will get the best and most stable results when connected to WiFI, but 3G and 4G network connections also can offer pretty good sound quality. Viber offered crystal clear HD voice call sooner that WhatsApp, which is why we give a slight advantage here to Viber. It should be noted that WhatsApp reconnects dropped call faster than Viber. When it comes to video call, both applications offer pretty similar results.
Viber is completely free to install and activate. Voice and video calls, as well as instant messaging are all free of charge no matter where you are, as long you have some sort of internet connection, whether it is WiFi or your data plan. Viber Out is also available, which means that you can make calls outside Viber, and this will cost you a fixed amount.
WhatsApp is a little bit different here. Yearly subscription for 2016 costed $1, but they changed this practice is 2017 making the application free to use – it still uses your data plan though.
Two platforms are leading the market at the moment: Android and iOS. Both of these applications are available on both platforms, and they are both regularly updated in order to increase security, add new functions and improve user experience. Next to their mobile versions, both applications are available for Desktop.
In order to install the last version of Viber on your Android device it needs to run on Android 4.0.3. or newer, while your iOS device needs to run on iOS 9 or newer.
If you want to use WhatsApp on your Android device, it needs to run Android 4.0.3. or newer, while the newest version of WhatsApp requires your iOS device to run of iOS 7 or later.
Both applications support end-to-end encryption. This means that only you and the person you’re talking to can see the messages shared between you. Not even Viber / WhatsApp can access this data.
Advantages and disadvantages
As these two are very similar services, it is very hard to say which one is better, and which one you should use. As you could see, the price, security or compatibility are not a problem, and none of them will influence your choice. What would make you choose is the preference of the people around you – you would most probably go for the platform used by your friends and family.