In February 2014, WhatsApp promised it would be add voice calling functionality to its hugely popular instant messaging app, but the new feature has yet to arrive. However, leaks continue to indicate it’s still being worked on, and could arrive at any time.
Updated on 02-02-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in a video showing WhatsApp calls in action.
Nearly a year after the original announcement, a video has been published on YouTube supposedly showing WhatsApp calls in action. Shot by a Reddit user from India, the video remains online at the time of writing, but the post describing it has been deleted. Running on an Android device, in-app calls to contacts are demonstrated, and made from a separate calls menu which runs alongside the chat screen.
A second test call to a different contact produced a message saying the user needed to “update the app to receive WhatsApp calls.”
At the end of 2014, a selection of screenshots were published online. Produced by Sander Tuit of AndroidWorld.nl, the renders were based on hidden code found in the latest version of the app.
There are actually two versions of WhatsApp for Android: one distributed through Google Play, and one hosted on the WhatsApp site. The screens were built from code found in the latter version, which often contains bug fixes and new features before they filter down to Google Play. There was no official response from WhatsApp.
According to Sander Tuit, the calling options will be somewhat removed from the rest of the WhatsApp experience, with a separate screen showing recent call history available from within the app. This fits in with the version seen in the video. It looks like you’ll be able to ‘slide to answer’, reply to calls with preset text responses, and connect to Bluetooth headsets. There’s also apparently an option to record calls.
Back in August last year, WhatsApp’s CEO announced the app had reached the 600 million user milestone, and added the ability to place and receive calls from within WhatsApp should swell its user base even further. Facebook splashed out $19 billion to acquire the messaging app earlier in 2014.
Article originally published on 12-26-2014
[Images courtesy of AndroidWorld.nl]