For a different perspective on calling apps, we were delighted to receive this long and detailed message from Michael Joyce who has both the technical experience but regular use of calling apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Viber.
Michael is just one reader who has a better experience with WhatsApp than we’ve ever had. It underlines our point that it’s good to setup and prepare several different online call/meeting services. Don’t rely on any single service either calling/messaging or even email.
Michael Joyce says ….
” I live in Asuncion, Paraguay. I am in almost daily contact with my brother who lives in North Carolina and have been for more than 7 years. We have Windows and Android OS devices and cannot comment on Apple only apps. We switch between Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber (an app you did not evaluate) [Ed – we took Michael’s hint and have now]
1. Outside of the USA, WhatsApp has become the defacto VOIP app. It has replaced cell to cell, and SMS throughout South America. For example, in television ads contact information is generally given as a landline number and a WhatsApp number, which of course is the cell number.
Additionally, there is a Windows app that can be loaded into a personal computer. As long as the smartphone is connected to the internet, either through the provider or WiFi, the PC can be linked to the phone. This is extremely useful for use of the keyboard and files stored on the pc.
The quality of both audio and video of WhatsApp has greatly improved over the years and is at least the equal of Skype.
An additional benefit of WhatsApp is the ease of adding contacts vis-a-vis Skype. One extremely valuable option to attaching a file, especially in 3rd world countries, is the ease of ability to attach a Google Map with oneʻs immediate location or a location of choice. Most cell providers have plans which include free connection to WhatsApp. Here in South America, WhatsApp is an economical necessity.
2. Viber has many similar qualities as WhatsApp, including a Windows PC app. In this respect Viber is superior to WhatsApp as it is not necessary to have a smart phone linked to the pc. It also uses the cell phone number as its user name. There is also a network evaluation of “Excellent – Average – Poor” displayed.
3. Skype has a limited advantages, most notably pc/smartphone to a standalone telephone. Sending of attachments such as videos and photos is quite a bit slower than either WhatsApp or Viber.
When my brother and I attempt to contact each other, We start with WhatsApp. With a perceived problem, we next try Skype, and then Viber. We often find that Skype will give a missed call indication, although there was no ringing at the distant end.
I am a retired communications engineer with more than 40 years in satellite and cellular telephone communications. My brother has extremely limited computer skills. I also have been a fan of this newsletter since early days with it. Thank you for your consideration. “
Thanks to Michael for writing and permission to pass his experience along.