When traveling abroad with a smart phone young professionals everywhere are forced to face pesky international charges. Thanks to the tech savvy smarts of smartphone application creators, these charges can be avoided. But to what extent can we avoid paying extra for calling home? I called my friends studying abroad in London and asked the same question I had been asking myself. “Whatsapp or Viber?”
Each cross platform smartphone messenger claims to allow “free” messaging and more to any other user of the application. But how “free” is it and which app is worth while? How do we choose whether to use Whatsapp or Viber?
Whatsapp Messenger defines itself as an app that allows exchanging of messages without having to pay for SMS. Whatsapp offers more than basic messaging with features that allow users to create groups, send images, and send video or media messages. With a download cost of $0.99 Whatsapp users can begin contacting any and all other Whatsapp users for free.
Viber defines itself as an app that allows free calls, texts and picture sharing with anyone, anywhere. With no download cost, no registration, and claims of the being the best-quality mobile calls, Viber markets itself as a way to connect freely.
Can it really be this easy?
Free international calls and texts? It seems too good to be true – and that’s because it is. Whether users opt in for Whatsapp or Viber, they are not getting all that they appear to be promised. A reminder to always read the fine print will come in clear with your first billing statement abroad. If you use Whatsapp or Viber, which both appear to be completely free, you will quickly learn that each app utilizes your data plan when they’re not operating on Wi-Fi.
To Whatsapp or Viber?
After a long discussion with the girls in London the votes were in on the trying question of Whatsapp or Viber. Viber may claim to be the best-quality mobile calls when connected to Wi-Fi, but in their experience every call drops. Viber may be a free download, but for users willing to fork up the $0.99 Whatsapp is the way to go.