Wiper – Yet another private messaging & call app

We have yet another entry in the messaging arena on iOS and Android called Wiper.

Like most such apps, this is also an iPhone only app. Even though it claims compatibility with the iPad, but, is not a universal app. The name sounds very similar to a far better known app called Viber and some might get confused between the two names.

Continue reading

iMessage, WhatsApp, Viber, Tango….which one to choose?

Now that WhatsApp has reverted to a yearly subscription model on the iPhone, it is no longer free on any platform. So, what are the other options that we have to communicate across devices and even desktops that are still free?

iMessage and FaceTime

Well, for all iDevices, simple messaging and sharing can be done easily using iMessage. With the upcoming iOS 7, FaceTime will also be available as a voice only call besides video calling. So, while most of the current iDevice owners have no real issues of communication between other iDevice users, a choice has to be made for friends and family that are not using iOS based devices.


While WhatsApp gained popularity by virtue of being pre-installed on a huge variety of Android based phones, it is no longer free on any platform and lacks voice (VoIP) besides other features. The fact that WhatsApp is essentially a “Telephony” app, it does not support tablets or any device that does not have basic telephony capability like SMS and voice calling.


Fring is yet another option. Like WhatsApp and some others, it is a “telephony” only app. Fring, like Skype, also allows you to make phone calls globally for a charge. Fring is primarily a Skype rival with better features and quality.


Skype needs no introduction. It has been around for quite some time and is best known for it’s VoIP calls to normal phones. Skype has bounced around from company to company and is currently a Microsoft product. Skype does not support many of the features of the messaging apps mentioned here. It also retains the legacy mode of having a user ID to log into the app and add “friends” manually. This legacy mode allows Skype to support phones and tablets.


While Viber remains a multi-platform, free favourite for many, it is not as well known as WhatsApp. Like WhatsApp, Viber is also a “telephony” app and only supports devices that have basic telephony features like SMS/voice calling. Viber has all the features of WhatsApp, plus voice calling and desktop support. It also has a nifty feature of being able to transfer a voice (VoIP) call to and from a desktop to the phone. Viber is also adding video calling which would make it even more complete.


KakaoTalk is a Viber rival. It is possibly even lesser known that Viber. It also includes group voice calls.


Tango is somewhat different from all the above in the sense that it is not a “telephony” only app. It supports Tablets/iPods as well. It has all the features of the above messaging apps, plus some. The most recently added feature being “friend discovery”. It will show you a list of all Tango users around your location allowing you to discover new friends. Like the above apps, Tango has text/group messaging, voice and video calls and more.


While there are plenty of other options, these are some of the older and more stable applications around. So, which one is right for you?

The answer is simple, all of them are free, try them and use all or one that you like most. Personally, I prefer Viber for the most part, even though I have all of them installed on my iPhone.

Viber crashing on the iPhone 4/4S?

Ever since I updated to iOS 6, I had been having issues with Viber crashing out within a span of 20 seconds with no help from my side. I just had to run Viber and leave it. Sure enough, it would crash within 20 seconds. I could dial and talk to anyone on Viber, but, it would still crash out in the same time frame.

After trying all the usual stuff like re-installing and even re-flashing the iPhone, the problem persisted. Initially, I just installed a couple of similar alternate applications and some of them exhibited a similar behaviour as Viber did. They would either freeze or crash out.

Since applications are sandboxed, it was obvious it had to be something related to iOS that Viber and these apps had in common. Further analysis on these lines revealed the issue and also a bug in the OS X address book app.

I had TrueCaller installed with the option of adding the spam numbers to my address book. That way, I could see a spam call/message and ignore it. I also put a “silent” ringtone on the TrueCaller spam numbers so it would not create a disturbance.

It seems that iOS 6 handles the huge contact list of the TrueCaller numbers differently from 5.x where I never had this issue. The “Protected by TrueCaller” contact had hundreds of numbers (possibly thousands) and all the apps that were looking at the address book had issues there. So, the obvious solution was to delete the contact and resolve the issue.

Not quite as simple as that. On the iPhone, you could potentially scroll forever to get the the delete contact option. So, I simply ran the address book on my Mac and typed “Tru” in the search to get to the TrueCaller contact and delete it. Not to be. The address book on Mountain Lion froze every time I entered a search matching the “Protected by TrueCaller” contact. Okay, so, I tried scrolling to the contact and same issue. The moment the address book get to that contact, it just freezes!

Ultimately, I logged into my iCloud account on the web and managed to delete the contact. Interestingly, although the contacts were synced and removed from my iPad and iPhone 4, my own iPhone 4S would just not remove the contact. I tried deletion from one of the contact managers I have installed on my iPhone 4S and it failed. I then installed a couple of other contact managers and seems their asking for permission to access the address book fixed the deletion.

Finally, I had to dispense with the TrueCaller contact and I have Viber and all other similar apps functional again. In case anyone has similar issues, try to check your contacts for a large number of numbers/email IDs etc. That could be the problem when using iOS 6 and ML.