VoIP upstart, Viber, today introduced a new feature to their iPhone app; texting.
Viber is an iPhone only app that allows you to make telephone calls, and now text message, other Viber users. When you install Viber, the app checks your existing contacts in your iPhone’s address book and marks off users that also have Viber accounts. This means that you don’t have to search for friends and add them like you have to on Skype.
It is this simple and intuitive integration with your iPhone that has prompted more than 10 million downloads of Viber and makes it the most obvious challenger to Skype.
Previous versions of Viber only allowed you to make VoIP calls to friends but todays release also lets you text message your Viber contacts. A pop up notification appears on your screen like it would do if you received an ordinary SMS message when you use Viber to send a mesasge.
Viber is completely free to use but it requires either a data plan or access to a wireless network in order to make calls. It is not yet known when Viber will introduce a chargeable service but in an interview with TUAW, Ayelet Noff, Viber’s PR rep, said their primary focus is with developing features and rolling out Viber to other devices such as Blackberry & Android before introducing pay-for-services.
iPod and iPad versions of the app are also on the horizon.