WhatsApp is announcing its latest feature – WhatsApp Video calling.
In the next couple of days, the instant messaging app’s over one billion users will be able to make video calls across iOS, Windows and Android platforms.
According to WhatsApp, “We’re introducing this feature because we know that sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough. There’s no substitute for watching your grandchild take her first steps, or seeing your daughter’s face while she’s studying abroad. And we want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks .”
“Over the years we’ve received many requests from our users for video calling, and we’re excited to finally offer this feature to the world. Thank you for using WhatsApp and we promise to keep working hard every day to improve the service.”
WhatsApp says its goal has always been to help as many people as possible stay in touch with friends, family, and others they care about.
“That means making a product that’s simple, easy to use, and accessible no matter where you are. The company started with messaging and Group Chat, then added voice calling, in a way that works across thousands of device and platform combinations all over the world,” the platform says.
WhatsApp officially launched video calling on Tuesday, and the feature is now being rolled out to Android, iPhone, and Windows users. Updated WhatsApp with support for video calling for Android and iPhone has officially been released, so you simply need to update the feature to make your first video call. If your iOS or Android device is not set to receive automatic updates, or if you are not sure if WhatsApp has been updated, simply go to the App Store or Google Play and check for available updates.
If you don’t see the video calling option, or if WhatsApp Video calling is not working, or if WhatsApp video calls are giving you an error, you could download the WhatsApp beta version APK to see if things work any better. Follow the steps below if you cannot wait for WhatsApp video calling.
Note that we advice that you wait for the WhatsApp video calling feature to show up on your phone, since that also helps the server load manageable. But if you are convinced you want to start video calls right now, follow these steps.
How to get WhatsApp video calling feature right now
The WhatsApp video calling feature was recently introduced in the beta builds of WhatsApp for Android and Windows Mobile. You can signup for the betas to get early access to WhatsApp Video calling.
Follow these steps to sign up for the WhatsApp beta program and enable WhatsApp video calling on Android:
> Open Google Play and search for WhatsApp
> Open WhatsApp Google Play listing
> Scroll dow towards the bottom of the page
> In the section that says Become a beta tester tap on I’M IN
> Confirm on the next screen and wait for a few minutes
> Come back to WhatsApp listing page on Google Play
> You should see an option to Update WhatsApp to beta version
> Update the app
We advice most of our readers to follow the above-mentioned steps to officially get on the WhatsApp beta version for video calling and other features, and skip the risks associated with downloading the WhatsApp APK.
If you’ve followed any of the methods mentioned above, congratulations, you are now running the latest WhatsApp beta for Android. This comes with support for WhatsApp video calls and other new features – to make your first WhatsApp video call, follow the steps indicated below.
To sign up for WhatsApp beta on Windows Phone, you need to message firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a spot on the beta. The process involves human intervention, so it’s likely to be a lot slower. Once you are on the beta, you will get access to WhatsApp video calling on Windows Mobile. IPhone users have no choice but to wait for WhatsApp video calling to be rolled out to them.
How to make WhatsApp video calls
Making a video call is just like making an audio call:
open a call chat with the person you want to contact and then select the Video Call option. The other person, for now, will also need the beta version of the app installed, or else you’ll just get an error message.
> Open WhatsApp
> Go to the Contacts tab
> Find and tap the contact you want to initiate a WhatsApp video call with
> Tap on the phone icon towards the top of the screen
> From the popup choose Video call
Once the call is launched, you can see and hear your correspondent. It will take us a further testing to see the actual video quality.
With a simple tap on the screen, you can access your messages, for example within the application, or return to the menu and use your smartphone for other purposes while continuing your call. Of course, if you do not keep the display of the call on the screen you can not see the caller but only hear the audio. To see him /her again, simply reopen the app.