Viber has made quite a name for itself as a global mobile first company, but today that all changes as the company breaks ground in the desktop space.
Popular mobile instant messaging and voice calling app, Viber, has launched desktop applications for Windows and Mac that also offer support for video calls.
The service now boasts 200 million users, although CEO Talmon Marco told Mashable that about half are “active” users — that is, those who have logged into the service within the last month.
“People spend a substantial amount of time on their smartphones,” said Talmon Marco, CEO of Viber.
He continued: “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 new desktop version of Viber brings all calling and texting features to your PC or Mac, and adds some new ones such as video calling and desktop to desktop calls, which are currently still in beta.
Messaging works on the desktop app, too, and users can transfer chats from phone to computer with a single click or tap. Incoming messages appear in all open apps, but once you pick up the conversation on mobile, the desktop app doesn’t continue to beep.
The announcement comes as part of the roll out of Viber 3.0, which includes major updates for the app’s iOS, Android, and Blackberry versions as well.
Viber 3.0 on mobile includes several new features, most notably, video messages. Also included are new “stickers” that users can send, a new voice engine and a brand-new user interface for Android.
“When we started designing Viber for Android in late 2010, there was no such thing as Android look and feel,” Marco said.
“So we chose our own look and feel, which was iPhone. But today there is now distinct Android look and feel, the ‘Holo’ interface. So we’re bringing the Holo interface to Viber. We also worked hard to make sure it works well with smaller screen sizes.”
To start, you must be a mobile user of Viber, so if you don’t have a number that’s already associated with the service, the desktop app will ask you to download the mobile application.
Then you simply input your number into the desktop app, enter a pin which is sent to your mobile device, and you instantly have access to all the contacts you know on Viber.
Viber did it this way as the company pays attention especially to the chatting, and talking habits of its users. By tying the mobile and desktop applications together by default, this actually lets you seamlessly switch from mobile to desktop in the middle of a call.
The messages are also synched against mobile and desktop, so all messages appear on both platforms but only the device that you’re on actively will beep. Messages deleted on one platform will also show as deleted on others, reports TechCrunch.
With this Viber now competes with the likes of Skype, the VoIP and instant messaging tool that was acquired by Microsoft and offers mobile and desktop apps across different platforms.