CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Viber desktop app puts phone chat on your computer

WhatsApp rival Viber has released a bit of desktop software, spreading your chat across both your phone and computer.

Messaging app Viber has added a desktop app to its software roster that'll let customers continue their phone chit-chat on their computers.

If you already use the Viber app on your smart phone, you'll be able to sign into the desktop client -- which is available for PC and Mac -- and keep talking to your pals.

Conversations are synced across devices, so you could also start a conversation on your computer and then see all those messages on your mobile. Handy if you want to keep texting friends during the day. You can also use the software to make voice or video calls.

Group conversations are supported too, and once you start a call, you can transfer it to another device. If you'd like a sneak peek of what the app looks like -- and if your day is missing some patronising jingly music -- then enjoy the promotional video below.

The addition of a desktop service gives Viber an edge over WhatsApp, a similar service that's only available on phones. Both services are available across all major mobile operating systems, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, and both work in the UK.

Viber is completely free, though you can bet the purple-tinted company is cooking up some way of depriving you of your pocket change. Perhaps it'll opt for a yearly subscription fee, like WhatsApp.

You can't start using Viber from the desktop app -- if you try it'll simply tell you to hop onto your phone and install the app from there. If you do have the app set up on your phone already, you'll be asked to enter your mobile number, at which point you'll be sent a code to type in.

A recent study suggested that online chat apps were more popular than regular old SMS texting, with an estimated 19 billion messages sent using these apps in 2012.

I've tried the Mac version of Viber's desktop app, and it seems to work fine. If you've found the desktop service performing particularly well -- or doing something it shouldn't -- let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.