Finally Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp is showing fruitful results a step at a time.
Voice Calls Coming To WhatsApp.
Just after the release of their iconic Whatsapp Web interface a few days back in January, the company is secretly rolling out another path-breaking feature that is sure to boost its popularity amongst users even more.
There have been a horde of similar apps on mobile markets that rivalled Whatsapp for this single feature that was missing on Whatsapp ever since its beta release… the feature Voice Calling or VOIP.
Similar apps like Viber, LINE and WeChat gained more popularity over Whatsapp recently because of this single feature without which Whatsapp became a lot dull and boring compared to the other apps which offered more features such as animated stickers, cashback and more robust privacy features.
Finally, Whatsapp is ironing out the creases slowly to rise to the top again. According to few speculated reports doing rounds of the internet, Whatsapp has finally integrated a voice call functionality into its interface via an updated APK that is available to select beta-testers only. The revered WhatsApp calling feature hasn’t yet been launched into the mainstream and will continue to be under beta phase until it passes all quality checks.
The story was first leaked on popular social media platform Reddit, by a user called Pradnesh Patil (pradnesh07), who posted a few screenshots of the Whatsapp interface showing a ‘Calls tab’ in the app menu and later added a video showcasing the feature in action to fortify his claims.
What you can do to try out the feature for yourself is to download the Whatsapp APK (v2.11.508) from a third party APK download website like Apktop.com or ApkDownloads.com. Side-load (additional over-write) this app via enabling third party app installation (enable Unknown Sources in Developer settings) and then wait for an invitation to try this feature by someone who is already allowed to use it.
You need to be on Android 4.4 KitKat for this feature to work, although some users have claimed that Jelly Bean users are also using the feature effectively. Currently the invite system is under wraps and most users are waiting for official confirmation of download by Whatsapp to better authenticate the security of this APK.
Although the APK is now officially available on Whatsapp.com for official download, however, most users have not been successful in enabling the feature even after being invited and having the specified features in their phones. Users will be able to activate the voice calling feature only if someone who has it enabled on their account calls them through WhatsApp. Users have been successful only with APKs downloaded from third party stores since those APKs have been optimized for better performance.
If this feature becomes mainstream, other apps will lose their market share for sure since Whatsapp still remains the king of social messaging in India after Facebook messenger and Snapchat. However, it would be interesting to see the outlook of telecom operators in India over this development since some of them have raised concerns over the voice calling feature and its threat to their revenue. Recently had to backtrack on a rule it laid down to charge customers for making VOIP calls after facing flak from the consumer forums.