Here's a cool app update for your Thursday morning. Messaging and VoIP calling app Viber got an update that adds in video calling from your mobile device. Viber already integrates your existing contacts for messaging and VoIP calling, and now you can initiate a video call from wherever you are using the app. You can also easily switch a video call from your smartphone or tablet to your desktop or laptop. Pretty sweet, huh?
This app update and added functionality comes on the heels of a major Google Hangouts refresh that added VoIP calling and Google Voice integration to the Hangouts app on Android. Viber is now better positioned to compete with Hangouts and other apps like Skype that have similar features. The Viber app also has an updated user interface, with an all new icon set and tweaked contact thumbnails. Chat bubbles look a bit different, too. Added features also include support for short video messages that can be sent to other Viber users. These video messages have an animated figure or avatar, and then the user can record a personalized voice message to go along with the video. Because Viber bases our in-app contacts on your pre-existing contact list, it's easy to add people using just their phone number. You can now add friends with a QR code as well.
Competition between IM/chat apps continues to heat up. Facebook Messenger and Skype have a lot of the same features that Viber added today, and the update to Hangouts on Android was a huge one that brought Google's app back into the race. The iOS version of Viber is being updated alongside the Android version today. That's something that Google didn't do with Hangouts. The iOS version of Hangouts has had VoIP calling for months.
Viber also added support for a bunch of new languages including Bulgarian, Persian, and Serbian. The app update is rolling out to users in phases. You should have it shortly if you're not seeing it available yet. Hit the Play Store link below and grab the update. Is Viber your IM app of choice?