Following the Hike’s launch of voice-call service, Facebook’s WhatsApp is now all set to join the league. The much-awaited feature is out but currently available on the invites-only basis. The users would be able to make calls through WhatsApp only to those who have already updated the voice-calling feature.
A Reddit user pradnesh07 was one of the first to report access for the voice-calling feature in WhatsApp. He has shared screenshots and videos of the new interface. He points out the feature can be used only with other people who have already upgraded with this feature. The Android version has to be updated to 2.11.508 version to use this app. The feature is currently not available for iOS users.
The voice-calling feature cannot be upgraded from the Google Play store but from the WhatsApp website directly by downloading the .apk file. Despite installing the new version, voice-calling feature would be enabled only if the user receives a call from another user who has already installed the feature.
The screenshots suggests a separate screens would popup for dialing voice-calls through Whatsapp, WhatsApp contacts, call logs and outgoing calls. The screenshot looks very similar to the interface in the pictures leaked last December.
WhatsApp is only currently testing this feature, and yet to reveal it officially. Testing the feature for a limited time will allow the company to get feedback and weed out the bugs if any.
Jan Koum, the CEO of WhatsApp states that the delay in rolling out this voice-calling feature in WhatsApp was due to the technical difficulties faced by the developer. During the industry conference in October, he said the service could be delayed till Q1.2015.
The voice calling feature in Whatsapp will now directly bring about a clash with other apps like Line, Viber, WeChat and the Hike which recently unveiled its voice-calling features. But is well known that WhatsApp is much ahead while its rivals are trying to catch up. Now with the launch of the new feature would only Whatsapp to next level with more number of users signing in.