Today, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is making its messaging platform an even more attractive offering with the introduction of video calling across all platforms including Android, iOS, and even Windows Mobile. This announcement comes on the heels of numerous reports which mentioned that the video calling feature has been released to the beta version of the widely popular messaging client on both Android and Windows — yeah, they received it first.
In the official statement on its blog, WhatsApp believes that “sometimes voice and text just aren’t enough” to communicate or convey true feelings to your friends and family. Thus, the company is planning to introduce this much-awaited feature to all of its billion users on the platform simultaneously.
And we want to make these features available to everyone, not just those who can afford the most expensive new phones or live in countries with the best cellular networks.
Once the feature is activated, you’ll be able to place a video call directly from within the chat window without much effort. Open the chat window of the person you wish to call and tap the phone icon on the top right corner. Just as you tap the icon, the app will open a pop-up that’ll present you with two option — voice call and video call. Now to initiate the video conversation, all you need to do is tap ‘video call’ and starting ranting(or lamenting) to your best friend or family members.
The video calling interface is fairly clean and simple. The screen, as one would expect, is covered by the live feed of the person you’ve called and you’re pushed to a small rectangle at the bottom right. The bottom of this calling screen sports three buttons which allow you to switch between front and rear cameras, go back to the chat window and mute the audio. Above these buttons, the interface sports a large red ‘end call’ button.
For those users who’re wondering about the quality of the call, I found that the audio and video quality was extremely good on a decent 3G network as well as a high-speed Wi-Fi network. The video, as one would expect, freezes on mobile data connection but the results may vary from one user to another.
Once this feature is introduced to the masses, WhatsApp will outrank exclusive cross-platform video calling apps such as Apple’s FaceTime and Google’s recent launch Duo. Facebook also introduced video calling to the Messenger platform, which is popular in Western countries as opposed to WhatsApp, quiet recently. The widely popular messaging client has recently also introduced two-factor authentication for users on the platform. It is also testing a slew of new features including ‘Status’ that is quite similar to Instagram Stories.