Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Quick update for Viber users: Viber for Linux was updated to version 4.2.x recently, finally catching up with the Windows version. Unfortunately, the application continues to be available for 64bit only.

Viber for Linux

For those not familiar with Viber, this is an application which has over 100 million monthly active users (and 280 million registered users), that sits somewhere between Skype and WhatsApp: it can be used to make free VoIP calls, send text messages, photos and video messages without having add any contacts manually (all phone contacts that have installed Viber are listed as Viber contacts). Viber is available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, etc. and for the desktop (Windows, Mac and Linux).

Viber for Linux features:
  • HD quality voice calls;
  • video calls (desktop to desktop only);
  • text, photo and sticker messages;
  • group conversations;
  • full sync between the mobile and Linux clients;
  • transfer ongoing calls between devices;
  • no registration or password required.

Even though some websites wrote back in November that Viber 4.0 was released for Linux, it was actually just an updated 3.x version (see this AUR package comments for instance) which was then never updated until a few days ago, to version 4.2. So assuming I'm right, here are the changes / new features introduced with Viber 4.0 to 4.2 for desktops, which should now be available in the latest Viber for Linux:
  • sync all of your stickers from mobile;
  • support for dragging and dropping photos into conversation window
  • support for Viber Out calls to all land lines and mobiles (a feature released in December 2013 which allows users to call mobile and landline numbers and thus, people not using the Viber application - note that you need Viber Out credit to be able to use it). I didn't test this feature though;
  • support for video messaging so that you can stream videos sent to you on your desktop;
  • increased group capacity to 100 participants and automatic group sync from mobile;
  • "Seen" delivery status lets you know when your messages have been viewed
  • view descriptions sent with photo and video files;
  • new conversation feed;
  • dockable sticker menu;
  • improved video quality and performance;
  • see participants in each of your groups right at the top of the screen;
  • one-on-one conversations from within a group;
  • play voice messages;
  • "Last online" status lets users know when their contacts are online.

It's also important to note that a couple of bugs that were present in the initial release weren't fixed: the floating tray Viber icon is still displayed under Unity (in the top left corner and it can't be moved) but at least there aren't double Unity launcher icons now and also, the "Start Viber on system startup" option doesn't work.

Download Viber for Linux (64bit only)

Important: you firstly need to install Viber on your mobile device before being able to use it on the desktop!

Ubuntu / Linux Mint (64bit only!) users can download Viber from HERE (deb).

Arch Linux (64bit only) users can install Viber from AUR.

Other Linux distributions (64bit only): Viber binaries are available as a zip file HERE but please note that Viber was only tested on Ubuntu so it may not work on your system (to run it, double click the "Viber.sh" file).

seen @ Phoronix