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While most big name instant messaging apps are available in some form, either through the companies themselves or built-with-love third-party variants, on Windows Phone, they often tend to lack behind their iOS and Android counterparts. Companies take too long to bring new features to the Windows Phone version, or showstopping bugs undermine substantive usability improvements as new features are introduced.
Viber, the popular platform-ubiquitous VoIP and messaging competitor to Skype, has released version 4.0 of its Windows Phone app today, offering new features for Windows Phone 8 users that have been available for months on other platforms. That being said, Viber has kept up quite well on Microsoft’s mobile platform, and this update merely improves what was already a pretty wonderful application.
Viber 4.0 adds the company’s revenue-hopeful Sticker Market, a boon for many companies from Facebook to Path. While it may not appeal to every user, stickers have become de facto features in most messaging apps, and Viber is merely riding the wave. The stickers themselves are cute and funny, albeit a little childish, but add a dash of humour to conversations.
Perhaps more important, Viber for Windows Phone now has more reliable push notifications, something we’ve seen implemented from Facebook, Skype and WhatsApp in recent months. Viber’s unique sounds have also been added, and users can be notified when a contact comes online.
Finally, Viber now resumes more quickly and the speed at which notifications arrive as a toast on screen has been improved, too.