The WhatsApp voice calling app is now available for all android users around the world. The world’s most popular instant messaging app which was bought by Facebook Inc. for a staggering $22 billion recently has finally launched its voice calling service. The service can be used by all the users of smartphones having android operating system which is the largest number of smartphone users globally.
The users would now be able to make voice calls using internet access through their android smartphones to connect with other WhatsApp users. However it was clarified that only android to android voice calls through WhatsApp would be possible at this point of time. Users would not be required to send any invites and there are no other hacks or tweaks involved. The only thing that users would need to do is to install the APK file by downloading it. It is required for the most recent and updated version of WhatsApp. Users are also notified that they would need to install the APK file from WhatsApp’s own website as the file available on Play Store is an older version.
The latest version of WhatsApp that needs to be downloaded from the website is version 2.12.19. It was not clarified by officials at WhatsApp if the automatic activation of voice calling through the app is a permanent feature or a temporary one. Though it has not been announced officially, all users of Android operated smartphones would now be able to use WhatsApp voice calling service.
The latest development was initially reported by Android Police. WhatsApp rolled out the much awaited voice calling service through the internet for its users worldwide. The functionality was tested by a select group of users at the beginning. The users of WhatsApp were previously required to receive a call from other users with activated voice calling service to get their own service turned on.
However, that system had to be taken off as it was not received very well. It was reported that the user interface of WhatsApp will change once the voice calling service gets activated. It will feature different screens to make voice calls to their active contacts on WhatsApp. There would be other screens for ongoing calls and call logs. The chat window would also have an icon of a phone which can be used as a calling option. Buttons for using loudspeaker mode, muting the mic during a call, or switching over to chat window would be available on the screen during an ongoing call.
The voice calling service through internet access using smartphones has already been launched by many other applications like Viber, Line, and WeChat. These apps also allow users to send instant messages and it would setup a direct clash between them and WhatsApp. However, with more than 700 million users worldwide, WhatsApp enjoys the largest share of active subscribers as of January 2015. It was also mentioned that the voice calling feature of WhatsApp would not be available to users of smart phones with iOS or Windows operating systems. However, all Android users now have a reason to rejoice as they can use the WhatsApp voice calling service.
By Ankur Sinha
Photo by Alvy / Microsiervos – Flickr License