Viber, an extremely popular VoIP app released last December by a small Israeli startup, got a huge update today, bringing a re-worked user interface with group messaging, profile photos and more, in addition to an all-new voice engine said to deliver improved voice quality.

Like Vonage and Skype, Viber lets you talk to people using your device’s cellular or WiFi data connection, exchange instant messages and images, all the while bypassing the carriers’ costly voice minutes and text/MMS messages.Unlike Skype, there’s no need to create an account with Viber…

Viber 2.2 now has group messaging and lets you have a custom background in the conversation view. The interface also renders contact photos and displays a time stamp (finally) for each message.

There is also a new voice engine sad to deliver improved sound quality, though I didn’t have the time to compared the old engine to the new one.

Here’s your changelog.

– Group Messaging: you can now send free messages to groups of friends.
– Assign a custom background to conversation.
– Photos were added to the Contacts list
– New voice engine and improved sound quality.
– Added time stamp for each message.
– See who joined Viber lately when viewing the Contacts screen.

Do you use Viber much? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience down in the comments.

As for me, I’m a Skype person, though the official iOS client is just terrible and so battery taxing that it’s beyond belief. I also tried Vonage. As much as I wanted to use Vonage, I was forced to drop it as the app never took off in a big way so it was of limited use to me.

  • Sina

    IMHO Viber is the best VoIP app for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. I use it everyday to talk to my family and friends. Quality is really awesome and best of all it is FREE.

  • SarmadMakhdoom

    I use viber quite often and its a good free app on iOS and Android. Love this update

  • Viber is a great VoIP app…I use it more than I use Skype. Live the interface and doesn’t drain my battery. Voice clarity is good based in your WiFi connection and I must add that these new tweaks are fun.

  • Usama Ahmad

    There is also a new voice engine “sad” to deliver improved sound quality, LOL when have engines been sad

  • Al

    It would be welcoming addition if they would add a compatible Pad app, would love to give it a try..

  • TheAngryPenguin

    That poor old voice engine! Hope it cheers up soon!

  • Kurt Lewis

    i love viber…i love the fact that the program doesn’t need to be open and you can still receive phone calls. awesome

  • Viber’s sound quality was very clear. When I went back to using the regular iPhone phone, I thought there was something wrong because everything sounded so muffled compared to Viber. I was convinced that my iPhone’s speaker was dying, but it was just that I got used to Viber’s crystal clear sound.

  • Agustin Jose Garcia

    Viber is cool. I have been using it for quite some time. Upgrading it now to check those improvements. Other app I use a lot and delivers nice quality its Forfone. Worth the try!

  • Ender Wiggin

    Hi Viber, please update Viber for the iPhone 5 screen. Also, regarding iOS 6, please see if you can make Viber compatible somehow with the new “Do Not Disturb” feature, so that I can receive Viber messages/calls even when “Do Not Disturb” is enabled. Thank you for the amazing app!!