Line, WeChat & Viber – Send Message and Phone Apps
LINE – Free Calls & Messages
This instant messaging application was first introduced on June 23, 2011 by NAVER developer that originated in Japan. Initially developed for Android and iOS operating sistern, and in its travels support Windows Phone and BlackBerry. Until January 2013, was recorded LINE users has reached 100 million worldwide and reported 400,000 new registered users each day.
Ease of Use
LINE account registration process was easy, you just need to input the number of active smartphones. Furthermore LINE will send a verification code to the number that later will be used to do the registration.
Interestingly you don’t need manually input the verification code from SMS to the LINE as it will be filled automatically. Continue registration with email input. This step is necessary because the required email will be used when you intend to do chat through LINE PC version.
Once this step completed, then input your name to be shown on the chat with photo profile. Then LINE ready for use with a few friends that will be added directly to the list since the application will automatically do a scan list of contacts on your device. Friend who had previously been using LINE and have your numbers, automatically you will be added to the list of friends, and he / she will receive notification for it. But you can disable this feature if want via settings menu.
On the main page there were 4 tabs namely Friends for display a list of friends, Chats which contains recent chat historical information with friends, Timeline that displays news feeds like Facebook and the last is More tab which contains settings for LINE.
Chat & Sticker
For chat facilities fairly ordinary, with the appearance each message using balloons. There’s an option to change the background from chat window thus its appearance not boring. While was chatting, then the clock information will appear next to the balloon to inform you that the message has been successfully sent. Whereas if it had been read by a friend then text “Read” will appear at the top of the clock information. Unfortunately there’s no information whether a friend is active using LINE or not.
When you’re using the device and a message comes in, then it will be displayed in a pop-up which contains message information, you also can reply it if wanted. If you not want to receive message from a friend, simply activate the block function.
Then that becomes the main feature here is the presence of Sticker. If you are accustomed using emoticons or emoji to make make chat atmosphere become more attractive, then Sticker also have the same functionality. The difference was Sticker, has a larger size compared to the usual emoticons.
Sticker has several different categories with classification based on character. To use Sticker, you are required to download it first. As an extra available Sticker that can be purchased with the money, but the problem indeed for the users at Indonesia hasn’t been able to do it. Even so, at Play Store indeed available other Sticker collection, but when find only found 2. But interestingly LINE will released Sticker for a certain event, eg like the 2012 Olympics last year.
Either Sticker, emoticons and emoji will be categorized in separate tabs. When you have been using a Sticker for example, then those Sticker will be displayed on the top so that you don’t look for it if you want to use it again in the chat.
Besides chat function, there are also functions to make phone calls via internet or voice call. To do it need internet connection that good and stable, minimum was 3G. You can use WiFi connection if possible.
Had to make phone calls using two connected smartphone on full signal HSDPA network. When the phone is done, there were pause of about 2-3 seconds until the sound really get to the receiver. On the call screen will be shown the signal strength information. When appears warning that the signal not stable, realizing that network also changed to 3G, and the pause of received voice also greater reaches 10 seconds. Because relies on signal strength and network, then consider this feature not really necessary and maximum to be used, given the connections at each location vary.
Still using voice, LINE also allows you to send snippets of voice to friends. You press the button to record sound, then immediately sent to a friend still in the chat window. To listen to the sound simply press the Play button that available.
In addition to sending voice, you can also send video and photos. Maximum duration for video was 90 seconds. But LINE will give a warning that its better using WiFi or to make sure the network signal is very good thus the delivery process went smoothly. Trying to record video during 5 seconds, and takes up to 2 minutes for the video to be able get received a friend. Of course the process can be faster in the internet network that really fast.
Looking for Friend via ID
In the profile, you are required to input ID so friends can find your account through the search function Add Friends. Actually to do a friend search there are 3 ways, namely via QR code, Shake it! feature and via ID. The easiest way indeed through ID. On the same page, you can create a group that is populated by friends that you invite. Maximal friends which can be inhabiting those group was 100 people.
You which registering for the first time recommended to make ID as the default since LINE not arrange it for you. Create ID through More tab> Settings> Profile.
Using LINE via PC
For those of you which owns a smartphone with small screen and tired of typing, then can use LINE PC version. To use it you need to download it first at its official website.
Requirement for using PC version was input email address that already registered with its password. Its interface more or less like instant messaging application for other PC, with main window showing Friends tab, Chats and Add. When did chat you can using some of the features available on mobile version. Only difference here was not available option to record video using webcam and instantly send it to a friend.
Then specifically for PC version, there are plus features ie save chat history in TXT format. Chatting that stored only valid for a single window. Then there was also setting to disable notifications on smartphones or tablets when a message received from a friend, thus you can concentrating on PC only. you can also make calls via PC. But when try it the voice that appears was slow, even when the volume already maximized. The solution you can use headphones thus the voice sounded clearly.
• Sending short voice message
• version of PC make it easy for chatting
• History chat can be stored on PC version
• Sticker make chat more fun
• Can change the background of chat window
• Not all Sticker can be downloaded free
• Sometimes on BlackBerry version can’t show emoticons
• ID can’t be changed and must owned in order to look for a friend
• 1 device 1 account. Wanting to create a new one must remove previously.
WECHAT – Live Chat & Video Call
Since appears the ad on TV, instant messaging application that developed by Tencent developer from this China its users also began drastically increased. In fact since popular in Indonesia, WeChat provides a choice of Indonesian language. Actually this application journey already long enough, ie since January 2011. But when at that time its name still Weixin with international language support start in October 2011 and then did a new name branding WeChat on April 2012. Until January 2013, its users reached 300 million people.
Ease of Use
Account registration process was easy just like on LINE, where you can using number from smartphones or Facebook. Followed by inputting the verification code that directly automatically taken from SMS. If you previously been using LINE, then there will be no trouble to perform the account registration process since its steps same.
To add a a friend, there were 2 ways via contact that must be stored on the device, and the second is to use WeChat ID. By default, our ID already filled with certain code which inputed by WeChat, but of course you can change it only once.
Once the registration process finished, then application will scan your contacts list. If there were a friend that already installing and using WeChat then it will be directly added to the friends list and you can do chat function. To make the chatting interesting, available emoticons that consists from 3 categories, ie Default, Extra and Special containing Sticker like in LINE. In this section you can add emoticons by downloading from WeChat website or take from the photo. If you choose to download from website, currently available 5 emoticon packs, each containing 12-15 pieces. While others option allows you to select a photo from Gallery to be sent in emoticons form.
One of the interesting things discovered was for example when you type the word “I miss u” on the receiver, it will appear animation of star falling. For WeChat interface overall too adopts design from iOS, started from animation until pop-up transition, thus feels a little strange since here use it in Android and BlackBerry devices. Would more if interface each of operating system have differences according with the character.
Doesn’t likes it when other people trying to add you to his / her contacts? Then there is privacy settings for those which can be accessed via Settings menu. From here, on Privacy tab you can disable the option that allows others to connect to you. Then on the Features tab, there’s option to disable features that not needed. In fact there’s also the page to see the data flow of usage application.
Video Call Feature
When doing chat, WeChat able to do it well even when one of the devices get 2G (EDGE) signals. Messages that sent only had pause of about 2 seconds until directly displayed. When a friend are typing message, it will display “Typing” information in the top of screen. But that become shortcomings here was no information stating whether the message already sent, as well as has been read by a friend or not. Moreover same as LINE, you can’t know whether a friend currently active using WeChat or not.
Besides chatting, there are function to send pictures, videos and voice like LINE. But for phone calls feature WeChat not have it. Even so there are other features that very interesting, ie LiveChat and Video Call.
For LiveChat, here will applies just like one direction conversation using Handy Talkie. Its use steps was easy. When active in the conversations window with friends, tap “+” button on the left side of window and choose Live Chat option. When you invite friend to do Live Chat, then in the conversation window will appears the invitation to do it. How to use this feature by pressing the circle button that available on the screen. If the yellow indicator is lit, then began to speak and voice will be heard by friend. More than one friend can follow the conversation using Live Chat.
Then the video call, this is the other advantage from WeChat. How to access it same like Live Chat because were on the same place. Doing video calls using tablets with front camera and contacting smartphone that has only rear camera. Process of video call run smoothly, where face friend displayed in the main screen and our face displayed on a small thumbnail in the upper right corner of screen. Sonce the receiver using smartphone with ony rear camera, then he / she clearly must reverse the smartphone position so that their face can seen. Interestingly, the video call process can run smoothly even if the smartphone signals were in 2G network. Though in the same situation using call on LINE, conversations will immediately cut off.
WeChat features wasn’t stop here. There are other features such as Look Around, Shake, Moments, Drift Bottle and QQ Contacts. Look Around feature allows you to connect with other WeChat users based on location, for example cities. you can add a person to the friends list then do chatting.
Then Shake functioning just like Bump app on Android. With it you can add other WeChat user information into the contact list. In fact when you’re hanging out with friends, you can shake the device to add all WeChat users. Interestingly again, shake the device concurrently with your friends and instantly contacts will be stored on your device.
Whereas same as LINE, WeChat also had social networking that built-in with the name of Moments. you can post the pictures and choose friend who can see it. When uploading images, there’s option to apply some filter effects to enhance photos. As an extra you can connect to Facebook or Twitter to do share Moments.
Chat Via PC Browser
Same as LINE, WeChat also can do chat function via PC, but the concept is different. While downloading applications and install it on PC, you do chat via browser. The step is open webchatapp.com address. In it will displayed a QR code that must scanned using WeChat on the tablet or smartphone. Once the process successful, then browser will display succeed message on PC and a window displays a list of friend. Click one of and chatting also can be done.
In the conversation window, you can input emoticon or send photo or video file. To close the conversations, simply close the browser tab or immediately log out from smartphone. Compared with LINE, of course chat via this PC feels half, since you inevitably require confirmation from smartphone through QR code scans process in order chat process can run.
• Chat and video call run smoothly despite the signal network 2G (EDGE)
• LiveChat feature not found in other applications
• Find friend based on location through Look Around feature
• Support mobile operating system widely
• Size of installation for Android was large
• Not available notification of sent messages
• The number of emoticons not too much
• Chat via web requires verification from mobile devices.
Seen from its logo that uses the phone icon, then can be concluded that Viber is focused on call via internet or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). First appeared in 2010, Viber only available for iPhone devices and is intended for compete with Skype.
In May 2011 finally released for Android but is limited for 50,000 users. As it grows, Viber users reached 90 million people on July 24, 2012 and specifically for Android and iPhone provided HD Voice engine so the voice call quality more better. For BlackBerry users, unfortunately there was no facility to do VolP.
Compared with LINE or WeChat, appearance from Viber looks simple. Like this also directly proportional to the features that are available. To register you need to input number of smartphone. Then available option for the application to do scans on the contact list, who knows there are friend that already using Viber too. After that then application will send a verification code via SMS that immediately activated directly on Viber.
But there are interesting cases experienced by one device where during registration Viber not submit the required code. Though the code must be entered within the duration of only 60 seconds. The solution, provided link that can be accessed and you must input number of smartphone again. Interestingly also instantly contacted via telephone with contents of the message saying the verification code. After that the registration process can be proceed.
After that Viber will display a list of friend that have been using Viber. Interestingly friend’s name will immediately grouped by alphabet. If the number too much, you can put friend contact on Favorites tab. Not only that, the history of outgoing calls and incoming calls that come from any dialer displayed on Recents tab.
In fact on Keypad tab you can make phone calls using the main pulses. If friend that you call had Viber, automatically phone call was done via internet. On the settings also available option to reply SMS using Viber if possible.
Delivery Message Notification
To do communications with friend on the list, just tap the name. Then you will be given the option to send messages or make phone calls via internet. Then below it there’s option to make calls and SMS with main pulses service.
Chatting process done like in LINE and WeChat, so you will not have problems here. Same as LINE you also can change the background from the conversation window. For emoticons, Viber not provide too many its type. You can access it by tapping “+”, then will appears third window that can be shifted. The left section show emoticon with a large size like Sticker in LINE . But indeed there aren’t many. The right side show the usual emoticons that small sized. While on middle of the window available options to take photo and send it, send photo or video files which taken from Gallery and also send location information.
For this location will take coordinates from Google Maps and sent to friend. Friend also can view location information on the screen. Actually, personally feel that this feature not very important. It would be interesting if we can find friends based on his / her location are like in WeChat. When doing chat, easily the third friend can be added in order to do group chat.
Then for chat function, Viber had plus side for delivery message notification issue. When process of sending takes place, then there’s “Sending” information, if has been sent then appears “Delivered” information, but unfortunately there was no information if message have been read by the receiver.
High Quality Voice Call
Making phone calls via internet is a major feature of Viber. Simply choose friends and tap Free Call option. Phone calls windows will show signal quality information. When tried with Average or sufficient signal quality, the calling process can run smoothly. The resulting sound was heard clearly, even using loudspeaker.
On average signal quality, delay only about 1-2 seconds beating LINE. This makes sense considering the main features of Viber was the phone call via internet.
• Voice calls quality sounded clearly
• There are message delivery notification information
• File size of android Installation most small compared to LINE and WeChat
• The number of emoticon not many
• Not providing PC version
LINE, WeChat or Viber?
After see at various explanations above, had its own selection from look its features. Those three applications the same majority features, ie do chat function and also send photos or video files. But obviously each applications had its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you love to chat with friends by input cute emoticon, then LINE can be a choice. BlackBerry users also can choose LINE since its installation size was small.
For WeChat itself actually its features same as LINE, but there are excellent features such as LiveChat that fun to use for communicate like Handy Talkie. As for you who need a chat function but still prioritize telephone calls, then Viber can be option. The sound quality that available obviously still lose with conventional phone calls, but can be an option if the pulses was empty but still lots of internet quota.
So can provide classification like this:
• LINE. Suitable for you who like to chat with cute emoticon
• WeChat. Have friends with various smartphone operating systems? This application is the choice.
• Viber. You who happy to do internet phone call will pleased with this applications.