WhatsApp has made a concerted effort to improve its feature set and better compete with rivals in recent times, and voice calling is central to this push. In giving users the opportunity to communicate VoIP, WhatsApp’s territory extends into that of Viber, Microsoft-owned Skype and a number of others. WhatsApp voice calling has been available to Android users for quite a while now, but thanks to an update, those in the ownership of an iPhone can now, finally, join the party. Full details, as well as the download link, can be seen below.
The latest version 2.12.1, which is now available to all iPhone users, does include voice calls, but even if you download and install it right now, you may not be able to use it right away. It’s not yet active for each and every user, with a staggered roll-out planned according to the release notes, so you may have to sit and wait for the calling feature to be activated.
The calls are, notably, completely free of charge, which means that you won’t be charged for the time spent chatting to your friends, work colleagues or associates. However, since data is transmitted via your cellular Internet connection or Wi-Fi, you may find that carrier limits on how many megs and gigabytes of data you use are reached more quickly. Thus, if you are planning to make a lot of calls over cellular, ensure that you keep tabs on how much data is being downloaded at regular intervals.
It’s a novel feature, and while we’d expect it to have a few teething issues, the Facebook-owned app may soon become the go-to service for those looking to converse in real time. The IM portion of the app has helped propel it to its current status among the elite in communicative apps, and with a cross-platform network that encompasses Windows Phone as well, WP users will be hoping – perhaps speculatively – for voice call support this side of Windows 10’s arrival.
Apart from the voice calling feature, WhatsApp also brings with it iOS 8 extension support, allowing you to send photos or videos to your contacts from an app that supports the share sheet feature.
The complete set of features are as follows, according to the App Store:
• WhatsApp Calling: Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply. Note: WhatsApp Calling is rolling out slowly over the next several weeks.
• iOS 8 share extension: Share photos, videos, and links right to WhatsApp from other apps.
• Quick camera button in chats: Now you can capture photos and videos, or quickly choose a recent camera roll photo or video.
• Edit your contacts right from WhatsApp.
• Send multiple videos at once and crop and rotate videos before sending them.
Anyway, if you’re on iPhone, you can download WhatsApp 2.12.1 right now via the direct link below.
(Download: WhatsApp for iPhone on the App Store)