Sunday, March 1, 2015
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It seems that we can expect a huge update from WhatsApp sooner than we think.
WhatsApp has been hinting that it will be incorporating voice calls as one of its features since early 2014 and users have been patiently waiting for the celebrations to begin. A new year has come and we’re still yet to come across this feature. However, more recent reports show some Android users have had a first glimpse of the app’s new voice calling feature.
Screenshots of New Call Feature
These new reports show that WhatsApp is really attempting to enter this field that’s fiercely dominated by other voice calling apps like Skype and Viber. WhatsApp users uploaded screenshots of the new feature on the website Reddit. Some of them have said that the feature was activated when a user who already had the new feature called them. The screenshot was made from a Nexus 5 device with Android Lollipop. The screenshot shows a new “Calls” tab in addition to already existing “Chats” and “Contacts” tabs.
What to Expect From the Feature
According to reports, users can make a call by tapping the Calls tab and selecting a contact. The feature will need an internet connection to work. Most of the posts were already taken down from Reddit because they contained personal information but a video showing the new feature can still be found on YouTube. From the shared video, WhatsApp users have a clearer idea of how the new voice call feature will roll out. It has the traditional speakerphone option and the ability to send messages while you’re on the call.
Only Offers Instant Messaging at the Moment
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps today even if it still lacks other important features like voice and video calls. As of now, WhatsApp’s main feature is the instant messaging service. With the new feature imminent, WhatsApp will be more in line with other popular apps. However, there’s also no denying that users have been waiting for this feature to be included ever since Facebook’s acquisition of the messaging app.
Skype the First One
Skype was one of the first that offered voice calling services to its users and because of this feature, it has gained more users. Skype is also WhatsApp’s greatest rival because WhatsApp users turn to Skype to compensate for what WhatsApp lacks – voice and video calling services. If WhatsApp will venture into the same services, it will have large shoes to fill because Skype is one of the best clients to make a video or voice call.
Reports from India
As of now, there’s no telling how extensive the rollout is because more and more WhatsApp users are reporting this new feature. Many of the users who claimed to have the call feature are from India. It could be an indication that the new feature will first roll out in the said region. However, users who reported the new feature also said that the voice quality is still not very good and fully functional. We can only assume that WhatsApp is still perfecting the feature before it’s finally released for all its users.