The popular free calls app Viber, has finally released a new version of Viber app for iOS devices which supports SMS text messaging. The ability to send free SMS text messages between Viber users are originally promised by end of February, and after a month delay, Viber version 2.0 (v2.0.1 as the initial first release was pulled few hours after been posted for further bug fixes) has been made available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch with free text messaging function, together with some user interface changes and bug fixes. Unfortunately, Android users still have to wait for the arrival of Viber to Android platform.
Changes and Features of Viber version 2.0 (2.0.1):
- Send and receive free SMS text messages to and from all Viber contacts, with a new tab called Messages and new “Free Text Message” button been added to Viber contact details.
- Push notification of incoming messages.
- Favorites tab location changed to within the top of Contacts tab.
- Improved calling mechanism with “Calling” state indicates that Viber is now connecting to the other party; “Ringing” state indicates that the other party’s Viber, is now actually ringing (note that a call can still be established even if the “Ringing” state is not shown).
- “Don’t show again” option was added for to the “Place a regular carrier call” inform dialog.
- Ability to deactivate Viber account.
- Improved Viber recognition engine for missing contacts with Viber installed.
- Improved Badges to show the number of missed calls and unread messages.
- Fix the “stuck on answering” bug.
- Improvement to the time it takes calls to connect.
It appears that Viber cannot send group SMS text messages to multiple or many recipients, and only basic SMS with text can be sent with no support for images, video and audio multimedia messages (MMS). Else the free Viber will surely put an end to WhatsApp Messenger, which has been the the app of choice on iOS platform (iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) for free SMS and MMS text and media messaging though 3G cellular data network, although it’s not free and requires payment of $0.99.
With Viber 2.0, the developer has encouraged users not to kill Viber app runnning in the background (how to kill and terminate background apps on iPhone, iPod touch and iPad) to improve user experience. Allowing Viber to stay in background can ensure that user always get incoming call and incoming message notifications, and that an incoming Viber call is rejected as “busy” when user is on a regular call.
Download and install Viber from iTunes App Store.