Published On: Wed, Apr 1st, 2015

WhatsApp voice call feature has finally arrived

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Voice Calling feature only available for Android users initially

After months of beta testing and invitation only call features, WhatsApp has finally added the voice calling feature for all its users.

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 at your end. Make sure that the person you are calling has the updated version too.

A new Calls tab allows users to manage outgoing and incoming calls, and to call any online contact simply by clicking on their name. Contacts who do not respond receive a missed call alert.

The move places WhatsApp in direct competition with Microsoft’s Skype and Rakuten’s Viber, both of which allow users to make voice calls between online contacts and — for a fee — to any number, landline or mobile. Given the massive scale of WhatsApp’s user base (over 500 million worldwide), the app is now also a significant alternative to mobile operators’ pay-as-you-go plans.

Calls to be cheaper on the 2G network but sound quality may be affected

WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply.” 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.

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