WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in the world thanks to its user base that goes well beyond the one billion mark.
Owned by Facebook, the app is available on mobile devices that run Android, iOS, and Windows OS. Speaking of Windows OS, the developers have pushed further to avail the app on Windows PCs as well – both the web version as well as a standalone app.
The simplicity of the app and its ease of delivering the best instant messaging experience, in addition to the fact that it is a free app, have made WhatsApp a go-to app for any mobile user, especially Android folks. The chat app sweetened things by adding the ability to make voice calls, a feature that has been around for quite some time now.
Following months of rumors that WhatsApp video calls will be added to the app, the promise has finally been fulfilled. As at the time of this writing, those using this app on Android can confirm that they can make video calls. However, there is a catch. Apparently, this feature has only been rolled out to those participating in the beta program. If you haven’t enrolled yet, check out the Google Play Store for a link to sing up for the program.
Once you are in there, you can get the latest WhatsApp 2.16.318 installed on your Android device. This is the version that comes with the ability to place a video call to your friends on the same chat app. Be warned that in order for this video call to be successful, your friend on the other end must be using a phone that supports video calls. In addition, both devices must be using the latest WhatsApp beta.
To start a WhatsApp video call, simply tap the usual Call button and two options will show up – Voice Call and Video Call. Hit the Video call option and the call will begin. The interface itself is as simple as you’d like it to be. There are only three options – switching the cameras, muting the call and sending a message. In case the intended recipient doesn’t pick your call, there will be options to Cancel the call, Call back or record a voice message for them.
At this point in time, it is not easy to tell whether the new WhatsApp video calling feature will receive support for group calls, but it should come at some point in future. It is also not known when the feature will show up on the stable version of the app, but it shouldn’t be long, especially since the feature is already working pretty good, but with the usual hitches and glitches expected from the first rollout of a feature, software or app.