Viber battery life – an update

My impromptu post about Viber gained a little more attention than I thought it would, prompting a discussion about battery usage and even attracting a response from the Viber development team.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it was never a proper review, just a highly subjective and unscientific personal impression of the app! My main complaint was and remains that it looks like an iPhone app (I probably should have complained about the purple colour while I was at it).

They did ask that I test the new version (2.1.2), released on October 12, 2011, so naturally I feel as though I should test it in the same fashion as before. That is to say, open Android’s battery life screen after Viber has run for a while and take a screenshot. :)

I’m still running the same OS as before, Cyanogenmod v7, and the results of my totally-not-scientific experiment, with a sample size of one, indicates that battery usage is indeed down on the earlier version:

Thus I can report that, subjectively, battery usage appears lower than the earlier version.

Statistical analysis of the results from my two experiments would indicate that the Viber development team have succeeded in reducing battery consumption by a whopping 62.5%. But if you trust that you’re a tool.

As I have said before, staying connected to a VoIP network such as Viber is not without some cost to battery life, but even assuming my result is indicative as the time remaining figure in a Windows XP file copy window, 6% is a pretty small price to pay.

31 thoughts on “Viber battery life – an update

  1. Viber

    Hi again,
    This is Viber’s development team here.
    Thanks for your review and battery consumption test.
    We are happy to see that you are more satisfied with Viber’s battery consumption right now and hope to reduce it even more on future releases.
    We’d be happy to hear from you again and receive your feedback.
    Viber Team

    Reply
    1. Wesley

      I have a Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro, running Android 2.3.4. I have the latest version of Viber and I’m befuddled as to why it’s taking up so much battery (15% or more, according to Settings > Applications > Battery Use) whereas on my friends’ Android phones it hardly takes up any (despite running the same version). Any Ideas?

      Reply
      1. Alex Post author

        Not really, the percentage depends on how much you use Viber, and also how much power the rest of your phone uses. If you aggressively conserve battery life by e.g. dimming the screen and turning off peripherals such as the accelerometer, bluetooth, wifi etc then the usage of Viber will be comparatively higher. Personally I wouldn’t be concerned about this level of consumption unless you’re hardly using it.

        Reply
        1. Viber

          @Wesley -

          Please make sure that Viber is the cause for the battery drain by isolating Viber (having no other apps running) on a device with stock ROM (custom ROMs may cause this problem).

          We conduct strict testings in our labs with several devices and other than when making a call (when it is natural for the battery to be used), we did not came across any significant battery drain when Viber was simply running in the background. Furthermore, over the course of over 15 hours, on average the battery use was only 2%.

          You can find additional information on tests performed by Viber users themselves, which show similar results, at:
          http://whrl.pl/Rc0APn

          Reply
          1. Addi

            I’ve also got a issue with Viber draining my battery on my Motorola Milestone. If I enable WiFi Viber won’t let my phone turn it off automatically when the phone isn’t used for a while. When I click on the Viber entry in the battery usage information it says that Viber is locking WiFi active so it can’t shut down. If I haven’t got WiFi enabled Viber doesn’t drain the battery as much (only around 4-7%).

      2. Wesley

        After upgrading to ICS, Viber no longer drains my battery, which is great! Under ‘battery use’, Viber doesn’t even appear on the list. I guess that means it’s taking up less than 2%.

        Reply
        1. Viber Team

          @Addi -

          In the “More” tab, you can find a setting that allows you to prevent Viber from keeping your WiFi on. This should address the battery consumption issue :)

          Reply
  2. Viber

    @Addi -

    This is a known issue on some devices, that will be solved in our next version 2.2 (an option will appear in Settings to disable Viber’s keep-WiFi-on).

    We apologize for the temporary inconvenience, and would appreciate if you could report back to us whether or not version 2.2 solved this problem once it’s released :)

    Reply
  3. Danielle

    My battery got swollowed soon after downloading/using this app. As did my husbands. We both have iPhone 4s mobiles. Cheers

    Reply
    1. Viber Team

      Hi,

      In general, we are not familiar with any special problems of battery consumption with Viber. We conduct strict tests to verify this information, and have been reported the same from users.

      Please make sure to isolate Viber in order to determine that it is indeed the source of the battery drain. If after a clean reboot of the phone, with all other applications shut down, the battery is still drained, please let us know.

      Reply
  4. Ross

    Hi, i downloaded viber, on my phone and my wifes both samsung galaxy ace and it flattens the battery in around 18 hours and i mean the battery is done, why cant i turn off the app when i dont need to use it. I have now deleted it and the battery life is back to normal, is there a setting i can use to stop this happening??

    Reply
  5. Nima

    it doesn’t matter how unfamiliar you are with issues with your own
    product. As long as people have no issue when not using Viber and issues
    when using Viber then it makes them NOT use your product, so you better
    come out of denial and start fixing your issues …

    Reply
    1. Viber Team

      Hi @Nima -

      We are not sure we fully understand your meaning… please try to be more specific so we could assist. Thank you :)

      Reply
  6. Andrew

    Viber has recently been crashing too frequently after the last update on Android. I am using a Nexus 4. Another issue is the screen doesn’t turn off completely during calls – it just goes black which continues to excessively consume battery.

    Reply
    1. Viber Team

      Hi Andrew,

      About the crash problem – we are looking into this issue these days, and we hope that it is fixed in our upcoming updates.

      About the screen – thank you for the report of the problem.

      We kindly ask that you take a minute and report the details of the problem to our support team using this direct link: http://bit.ly/ukGVJ0 (when you submit the ticket, please make sure to add the URL of our conversation). With this information, our development team will hopefully be able to find the source of the problem, and ultimately resolve it.

      Thanks in advance :)

      Reply
  7. Sam

    Do you people still beleive that viber doesn’t drain your battery and trusted these bars above. You are all totally wrong, Viber is not just a calling software, it is a spaying script that puts its nose in every thing in your mobile, it has full access to your sms,mms, bookmarks, contacts, system, many …. and you are telling me that your system will show that viber uses more battery. I’ve installed in over 10 mobile phones of different brands and I noticed how terrible it drains the battery., then I was surprised to learn this while debugging viber scripts and installation. We just tick “Accept” terms and conditions without knowing what is happening in the back doors

    Reply
    1. Viber Team

      @Sam -

      What are these theories based on? :) We wonder.

      First, it is important to be accurate – we only collect names and phone numbers, nothing else. Naturally, we collect users’ information not because we are curious of its content nor for commercial purposes, but only for functional reasons, and in order for us to enable the service that we, as a company, promise to provide. Without that information, Viber cannot function. This is not different from any other major social network/communication service provider in our world nowadays.

      I would like to clarify: we *do not* and will never sell users’ information to third-parties, and we keep this information well locked in our servers, with extremely limited access to it. This information (in great detail) is explained in our very clear and transparent Privacy Policy – to which we are committed by law – that can be found in our official homepage. Have you taken a close look at it?

      If after reading it carefully there are still doubts or questions, then we will be more than happy to assist and clarify and answer any of them.

      @Alex -

      Viber provides location-based services, thus it needs access to the location functions of the phone. This is not different than any other major social service/app in the world nowadays.

      Reply
  8. Stig

    I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 and I installed Viber one week ago. I like Viber but the problem is that on my Galaxy S3 the battery get empty very quickly. The battery gets empty after about half a day.

    After recharging the battery to 100 % capacity it took only 12 hour till next morning so was the battery indicator on 10 % capacity. The telephone was on but I didn´t used Viber or the telefon during nighttime.

    After I removed Viber from my Galaxy S3 and recharged the battery to 100% after 12 hour the battery capacity was on 88 % Hope Viber can find out the reason for the problem on Samsung Galaxy S3..

    Reply
    1. Viber

      Hi,

      Please make sure that Viber is the cause for the battery drain by isolating Viber (having no other apps running) on a device with stock ROM (custom ROMs may cause this problem).

      We conduct strict testings in our labs with several devices and other than when making a call (when it is natural for the battery to be used), we did not come across any significant battery drain when Viber was simply running in the background. Furthermore, over the course of over 15 hours, on average the battery use was only 2%.

      You can find additional information on tests performed by Viber users themselves, which show similar results, at:
      http://whrl.pl/Rc0APn

      Reply
  9. Stig

    Hallo again
    I have no run my Galaxy S3 for 33 hours without recharging after removing Viber från my phone and the battery shows that I still have 47 % left of battery capacity.

    This tells me that I can not use Viber because i have to recharge so often.

    Reply
    1. Viber

      Please read our last response. We have raised there many points that could help you identify the source of the problem, and make sure that it is indeed Viber.

      Reply
  10. Mark Chinchen

    Hi Installed Viber two weeks back on Sony Xperia Ray battery life dropped from 3-4 days to 21/2 days even though there are no indicators Viber is using battery it just sucks it up while phone is in standby, making calls using makes even worse
    Tried disabling it but comes back to life by itself and drains battery
    Uninstalled it , needed it for travel but it makes the phone useless

    Reply
    1. Viber Team

      Hi Mark,

      Please note that Viber does not officially support your device yet, and that may be the reason for the problems you are experiencing. Here is the full list of officially supported devices: http://bit.ly/Hm5k9p
      We are continuously working to adapt Viber to more and more devices, and we hope to make your device fully compatible soon. When we have news, we’ll let you know.

      Reply
    2. Andy

      Same thing here. Nexus One. Android 2.3. Battery life is reduced on a half running Viber in background. And it doesnt appear in battery usage log.
      Kind of cheating, as of me.

      Reply
      1. Viber

        Hi Andy,

        This is a known issue, and we’re hoping to fix it in our upcoming update. We apologize for the temporary inconvenience, and we’d appreciate if you could get back to us after installing our next update and report whether or not the problem has been fixed :)

        Thank you!

        Reply
    1. teamviber

      Hi @archie -

      Have you tried our latest update from AppStore?
      Does the problem persist?

      Also, have you made sure that Viber is the certain cause for the battery consumption? Please try to close all other apps running in the background.

      Reply
  11. Ranish

    I have a custom ROM CM. Under process stat, viber is listed second in background process with 33mb ram usage(max) in last 3hrs, I used viber viber about 12 hrs ago.

    Another issue is while I use viber the voice breaks, perhaps the service providers blocking using certain app their end. Is there a workaround

    Reply

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