WhatsApp voice calling feature is now opened to all users and fans ending one-year of beta testing and raising enthusiasm among the fans of the most-successful app in social media sphere now, owned by the Facebook.
However, users of WhatsApp should first download the updated version 2.12.5 from Google Play or from the WhatsApp official website. Click Play Store 2.11.528 or download the version 2.11.531 from the official WhatsApp website.
Unlike before, the official calling feature will automatically get activated with the new updated version and there is no need to request your friend or someone with the calling feature to call you again and activate it yourend. Make sure that the person you are calling has the updated version too.
With the updated version, WhatsApp users can call for free over a WiFi or 3G/4G connection. WhatsApp, known for its immense popularity for free instant messaging system on mobile phones using wi-Fi or 2G or 3G connectivity has 700 million users all over the world.
The latest voice calling feature comes with the updated version for Android (2.12.19) phones and the company said the iOS and Windows Phone versions will roll out soon. While the WhatsApp voice calling feature for iOS devices is not official, it is reortedly accessible through jailbreaking.
For Windows Phone users, an Italian consumer support forum said that the WhatsApp voice calling feature for Windows Phone devices would soon hit the store and these users may receive the feature in a single phase.
Apart from the Google Chrome browser, it will soon support Firefox and Opera. The Fuse Joplin reported that the new version of WhatsApp voice calling support for Windows Phone will be released in May.
Once updated version is downloaded, a new “Calls” tab will appear for users to manage calls, call any online contact simply by clicking on their name in the contacts list.
The free phone calling feature is not new and the major rivalry comes from Microsoft-owned Skype and Rakuten’s Viber, are already providing similar service. What gives the edge to WhatsApp is its worldwide subscribers numbering 700 million and 70 million in India alone.
With this userbase, WhatsApp is planning to make a big headway. Moreover, the new app would be an improvement over the 2013 app that allowed users to send recorded audio messages and send them to friends and colleagues.
As it is, now WhatsApp call may cost less than 5 paise per call depending upon the telecom service provider. But it may cost around Re.1 to Rs.2.50 per minute of calls on 3G and 4G networks without mobile Internet plans.
Essentially, each call takes about 0.15 MB to 0.20 MB of 3G data or a call for 5 minutes may consume 1MB of 3G data. However, it is cheaper on 2G as it consumes 0.35MB but the sound clarity may vary and the delay will also be there.
The new WhatsApp calling feature is currently available only for Android smartphones and it would be extended to iOS and Windows Phones later, said WhatsApp.
All records of voice calls in WhatsApp will be automatically saved and in case a user gets a regular call, then he can answer it as the WhatsApp call will run in background for sometime. But it will get disconnected on its if the duration is long.