SMS ruled the technology for almost a decade and people believed that this rule won’t end soon. But, with the launch of IM applications like Viber, WhatsApp, ChatOn, WeChat and Skype, this SMS technology will soon meet its maker.
It never means that we have found kings of chatting but at least we have found better alternatives to SMS and soon we’ll be seeing something that would replace SMS technology properly.
Now that smartphones usage is on the rise, IM applications have become a necessity of users. Among all these, WhatsApp and Viber are the most popular ones. In this article, we will compare the features of both the apps and then conclude a winner at the end.
You might be aware of the functions of both the applications. They let you chat using the Internet only, they have loads of emoticons, you can set your profile on both the applications, etc. But what are the things that make one better than the other. Check the comparison below.
The compatibility for WhatsApp starts from Nokia S40 phones, the least one apps-compatibility wise. After this its compatibility increases to Nokia S40 Symbian, S60, and Android/iOS/BB OS/Windows, etc.
For Viber, you need to have at least Nokia S40 Symbian. It’s compatibility starts from this and goes to Nokia S60, and Android/iOS/BB. So, this means that Nokia S40 users can’t install Viber in their phones. However, Viber can be installed in your Windows, Mac and is available for Bada users as well.
You must have iOS 3.4 or later to run both. For Viber, you must have Windows Phone 8 while WhatsApp works on both Windows Phone 7.5 and Windows Phone 8. You need to have Android 2.1 or later in order to run WhatsApp. Viber’s Android compatibility starts from Android 2.0.
So, compatibility-wise, Viber gets a point.
WhatsApp’s user interface is quite simple and easy to handle. WhatsApp Inc launches updates frequently to make its interface more appealing and user-friendly. But mainly, its interface depends on the type of platform you are using. Nokia S40 and Nokia S40 Symbian have the most basic WhatsApp interface. You can’t insert emoticons and text in the same line. You can’t view profiles of your friends properly. But this has been done to make your WhatsApp experience good.
On the other hand, WhatsApp for Symbian and Blackberry also has a basic type of interface, while for Android/iOS/Windows Phone, they have that standard green/blue colored UI.
Viber, on the other hand, has the same purple and white colored interface for all platforms, whether you are running it on PC or mobile phone. You just have 2 basic menus in Viber. The IM is also very easy to use but the additional video and voice calling options mess up the whole experience. Viber also has some limited options for Nokia S40 Symbian regarding the user experience.
So, interface and usability-wise, I’ll give a point to WhatsApp.
WhatsApp, now, costs nothing when you download it from iTunes, however, you have to pay $0.99 after one year for this app. Same works for Android, Windows, BBOS, S40 and Symbian (S60).
Viber is totally free for all the platforms. It doesn’t even offer advertisements like WhatsApp to make your user experience comfortable. However, the company will be announcing some stickers that you can use after paying a small amount.
Here, Viber gets a point.
With just texting options, WhatsApp does not take much bandwidth. Only downloading may force it to use high network charges, but if you are texting only, then WhatsApp takes very less bandwidth.
Viber has video and voice calling options which make it drink high bandwidth in just a few minutes. If you are running Viber on Wi-Fi, then it is OK to use it. But never ever use Viber on your cellular network. You may end up losing all your credit in just few minutes
WhatsApp wins here!
You need to have a working registered phone number to use WhatsApp. The app scans your contact list and searches for people who already use WhatsApp. Now, you can chat with them. But the blocking option is there for your security. If you don’t want to chat or contact that annoying person in your contact list, just block him. Blocking someone means that now you won’t receive any messages from the person you blocked.
Viber is a bot smart in these kind of issues. It lets you handle these things in a different way. Everything works just like WhatsApp, but if you don’t want anyone to see your online status, then you can turn the thing off by going to Online status option in settings. Also, Viber through Google Analytics track down your maintenance services and IP Address data storage. So, if you don’t want it to track this, then turn the thing off.
In this regard, I’ll give them both a point.
In features, we won’t talk about the number of things these apps offer, but we’ll talk about how fast and smoothly these things work.
Through WhatsApp you can send voice notes, images, videos, contacts and can share your location. You can set a cool profile of yourself with a shining profile photo and a fantastic status. You don’t have to log in and log out every time you need to use it. You can receive offline messages, set a wallpaper, email your chats,group chat, broadcast messages and use loads of emoticons. But the experience is only limited to texting.
Though Viber you can send some of the things that WhatsApp sends, text, group chat, send stickers, emoticons, send doodles and push notifications, set your profile as in Viber and above all, you can voice chat as well as video chat. Well! this voice and video chat option is a drawback for people who run Viber on network charges. It’s all related with the bandwidth. Moreover, these stickers, and big emoticons make the apps usability poor.
WhatsApp Inc makes the features limited to give you the best user experience without draining your money. They could introduce voice chatting option as you are paying then $0.99 a year, but they don’t and this is for your own good.
So, features-wise, i’ll give a point to WhatsApp because of its usability.
So, the final score that WhatApp gets is 4, while Viber loses with just one point and gets a 3. Even personally, i would recommend WhatsApp because of its limited features and better usability relation. What is your favorite messaging apps for your smartphone?