WhatsApp starts rolling out voice calling feature







via timesofindia

It looks like mobile messaging service WhatsApp has started rolling out the much awaited voice calling feature.

Reddit user Pradnesh Patil (pradnesh07) posted screenshots and even a video of WhatsApp's new interface that features voice calling.

Patil was able to use the feature on his Nexus 5 running Android Lollipop. The screenshots suggest that there would be separate screens for dialing a voice call to WhatsApp contacts, call logs and ongoing calls. The screenshots are similar to leaked pictures of the interface that appeared online in December.

As per Patil, the calling feature is included in WhatsApp's new build (2.11.508) which is only available on WhatsApp's website at the time of filing this story. So users will need to download the .apk file and side-load the app until it arrives on the Play Store.

However, even after installing the new version, voice calling will not be activated for all users. Users will only be able to get the voice calling feature if someone who has it enabled calls them through WhatsApp similar to an invite system, as per Patil. He added that the person who sent him the invite has confirmed that it works on all Android phones (and not just Android 5.0 phones) and in other countries (not just India).

WhatsApp has not announced the rollout of the feature yet. Perhaps, it's still testing the feature with select users.


Image courtesy: Pradnesh Patil on Imgur

Last year, WhatsApp had announced that it soon plans to roll out voice calling feature for its users. In December, a few screenshots of the feature had leaked.

According to WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum, the delay in rolling out voice calling feature was due to technical hurdles that developers were facing. He had said that the service had been delayed till Q1 2015, speaking at an industry conference in October.

The voice calling feature will bring WhatsApp in direct clash with apps like WeChat, Viber and Line that already allow users to make calls and send messages. WhatsApp is the biggest instant messaging app in the world, with 700 million active users in January 2015.

Here is a video illustrating the screens:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5-UfVwoKf8
WhatsApp starts rolling out voice calling feature WhatsApp starts rolling out voice calling feature Reviewed by Aashish Dhand on February 01, 2015 Rating: 5

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