As promised, Skype’s rival, Viber Media, has released an updated app for BlackBerry (version 2.4, in beta) that – finally – gives users the ability to make free phone calls to others.
There are limitations though: Free calls over WiFi and 3G only work for supported OS versions, i.e. BlackBerry OS5 and OS7 – but decidedly not OS6, or at least not at that. Stadium.
Viber says this is “due to the inherent limitations” of the operating system, which powers devices like the BlackBerry Bold 9650/9700/9780, the BlackBerry Curve 9300/9330, the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 and the BlackBerry Torch 9800.
Also unsupported: BlackBerry 10, although I hear that could be the case when the final app rolls out in the near future.
Regardless, Viber previously said that adding voice call support to its BlackBerry app “represents a significant technical challenge.”
It’s also worth noting that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) has recently been updated for devices running BlackBerry OS5, adding support for free voice calls over a WiFi connection, among other features.
But Viber says it differentiates itself from BBM because it allows users to communicate for free, whether through voice calls or text messages, with users of all other platforms supported by Viber, including iOS. and Android.
The Israeli startup has also just launched a new app for Windows Phone 8 that supports free voice calls.
Meanwhile, Viber has more than 175 million users worldwide. The company says BlackBerry users make up the third largest portion of its user base, after owners of iOS and Android phones.
Viber currently records 15,000 BlackBerry activations per day.
➤ Viber for BlackBerry 2.4 (beta)
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