Viber Messaging App Arrives on the Desktop
Messaging service Viber today made the leap from smartphone to desktop.
The free messaging/phone service is now available on PC and Mac computers, allowing seamless integration between mobile and desktop users.
The move comes alongside news that Viber has more than 200 million users across various platforms, including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. Now, Viber Desktop runs in harmony with mobile versions, completing the setup process using your existing phone number as your ID.
“People spend a substantial amount of time on their smartphones,” Viber CEO Talmon Marco said in a statement. “However, a lot of that usage takes place at home or in the office, where they have laptops or desktops close by. With Viber Desktop you always get to use the most convenient device. You can seamlessly switch devices while messaging and even transfer calls between your mobile and desktop.”
The computer-based version was built from the ground up, but keeps in line with some of its mobile counterpart’s features, including easy activation — enter your cell phone number and the confirmation code sent by Viber via SMS, then access all of your contacts, which are synced between devices.
Competing in a market with the likes of Skype and other VoIP services, Viber has done its best to stand out among the crowd, boosting features like one-tap seamless call transfer between its new desktop feature and the mobile app.
Meanwhile, Viber’s receive and sent messages are shown on all devices, but only push notifications on the device currently in use. On the flip side, messages and conversations deleted from one device will be removed from all devices.
“On top of this, Viber Desktop is Viber’s first application to offer video calls,” the company’s release said. “With this new beta feature, users can now make desktop-to-desktop video calls to other Viber users.”
Viber’s desktop release is part of the roll out of Viber 3.0, which includes major updates to the Android and iOS apps, as well as a new version for BlackBerry, all of which connect easily with the desktop platform. Users will find new video message capabilities, last-online status, new stickers, an enhanced photo experience, performance improvements, and a new voice engine. Viber also now speaks eight new languages, including Dutch, Korean, Swedish, and Turkish.
Additionally, the Android app comes with a security fix aimed at patching the recent exploit that allowed hackers to access phones running the Google-based operating system via the popular messaging app.
It was discovered last month that the attack takes little effort, and only needs two phones, both running Viber, and a phone number. An attacker phone sends a message to the victim device, which is locked but has Viber installed. An alert window pops up on the lockscreen, from which the user can respond without unlocking the phone. Once the keyboard is active, the attacker sends another message. This time, pressing the back button on the victim phone grants full access to the device.
The company released a patched APK last week, before today’s full update became available.
Check out the Viber Desktop service in action in the video below.
By Stephanie Mlot, PCMag