WhatsApp Free Video Call Feature Near To Releasing
WhatsApp appears to be testing a new video calling feature for its popular messaging app. Fone arena reports that the latest beta app for Android includes video calling options for some users. While WhatsApp users have been able to place audio calls for more than a year now, a video calling option would be an even bigger threat to services like Skype, FaceTime, Hangouts, and Facebook Messenger. WhatsApp currently has more than 1 billion users.
Rumors about video calling in WhatsApp have been around for almost as long as those about voice calling, but now we have the first sign the company may be getting closer to releasing the feature widely. First spotted by FoneArena, multiple beta testers saw the feature show up with the latest update to the app. For these users, pressing the call button prompts them to choose either an audio or video call.That said, the feature didn’t appear to be active. Though users could see the option to see the option to place a video call, actually starting the call lead to an error message.
Meanwhile, Android Authority says the feature has since been disabled, so perhaps the early availability was an error. Still, it’s a sign the feature is possibly nearing completion. To reiterate, the trial only affects users signed up to the beta program, but the limited rollout is reminiscent of the early days of voice calling – only some users would see the feature for several weeks until it arrived for everone else.
A beta version of WhatsApp for Android included the option to initiate a video call. The feature was not active for most users, and it was removed with a later update, but it’s a sign that the full release of the feature is approaching. Video calling for WhatsApp has been in the works for at least six months – back in December, screenshots of the iOS version of the app leaked showing a basic video calling interface. More recently, translation requests for the term “Video Call” suggested that WhatsApp was readying the feature for a global rollout.When WhatsApp finally got a voice calling feature last year it left us with just one question: when do we get video? There have been plenty of hints at its impending arrival and now the feature has shown up in the Android beta app. With Facebook in the driver’s seat, it’s a matter of when, not if, WhatsApp video calling is coming. Here’s what we know about how to make WhatsApp video calls.
How to make WhatsApp video calls
You can’t, yet, but what you can do is send a video clip to your WhatsApp contacts. In order to send video to somebody in WhatsApp, you use the same procedure you’d use to send a photo, an audio clip, your location or somebody’s contact details.
Open a chat with the person you want to send the video, tap the attachment button at the top of the screen (it’s the one that looks like a paperclip) and then tap on the kind of thing you want to send, so, in this case, you’d tap video. You can add a caption if you like, and then you can send the clip by tapping on the send button in the preview.
You can also forward a video sent to you by somebody else. To do that, tap and hold on the message(s) you’d like to forward, tap the forward arrow icon, and choose a conversation to forward the message to. Don’t worry about data use here: while the forwarded message(s) will appear to have come from you, you don’t have to upload the message or messages again. WhatsApp takes care of that.
How making WhatsApp video calls will probably work
WhatsApp might not have video calls yet, but many rivals do – and you can get a good idea of how WhatsApp video calling should work by checking out alternative apps such as the excellent Viber, which is one of the best instant messenger apps for Android. In the case of Viber, making a video call means making a voice call first. Select your contact, tap the Free Call button, and wait for the call to connect. Once it connects, you’ll need to tap the Video Call button to move into video calling mode, and the person you’re calling needs to activate it too or you won’t be able to see him, her or them.
You can do the same thing in Skype for Android – there’s a button you can use to turn the video on or off during a call but unlike Viber you don’t need to initiate a voice call first if you don’t want to. All you need to do is sign in, tap the contact you want to video call and then tap on the video call. If WhatsApp doesn’t do something very similar when it brings in video calling we’ll eat a Nexus.
What if you don’t want to receive or make WhatsApp video calls?
Once again, Skype shows how it’ll probably work: in its Settings card under Voice and Video Calls you can choose between the following options:
1- Receive calls from: choose who you receive Skype video calls from. You can use this option to stop unwanted video calls from unknown people.
2- Answer calls automatically: select this option if you want incoming voice and video calls to be answered automatically.
3- Enable video calling: on most devices, video calling is enabled by default.
4- Technical info: select this option if you want to see technical information about your call.
5- Video quality: choose your video call quality. The higher the quality, the more data a video call will use.
6- That all seems pretty sensible to us, and it’d be good if WhatsApp introduced something similar. The app is almost certainly heading in that direction anyway, because now that Facebook owns it, it’s likely to get more Facebook-y and make more use of your Facebook network as well as your WhatsApp contact list.
WhatsApp Free Video Calling – Latest Update
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Over the weekend, multiple users reported that a “Video Call” option was added to the call button in the chat interface of WhatsApp beta version 2.16.80. Normally, the call button takes you straight to the audio call, but with this update, users could choose between audio and video. The Video Call option was inactive. Fone Arena reported that some users were able to initiate video calls, but we didn’t see any proof for that.
It appears the feature can be enabled or disabled on WhatsApp’s servers, so the company can trial it with groups of testers. WhatsApp gradually introduced voice calling to Android users last year, with select users gaining access to the option in the weeks leading up to a broader launch. WhatsApp hasn’t commented on any video calling plans yet, but it’s possible the company may roll out this test feature in a similar way to the voice calling option. WhatsApp is also reportedly testing sending group invites through QR codes, links, and NFC tags.
Video calling has been the big capability missing from WhatsApp’s repertoire in the past, but it looks like that is all about to change. Over the weekend, a “Video Calling” option started popping up for beta testers, hinting that a full release of the feature is coming. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about video calling coming to WhatsApp. Last year, leaked screenshots showed the feature being tested in a version of the iOS app, and WhatsApp has also been requesting translations for the term “Video Calling,” indicating a worldwide rollout is anticipated for the app’s billion users.
This time around, numerous users of the beta app reported finding a “Video Calling” button in their app. According to Android Authority, users of the WhatsApp for Android beta saw the option to initiate a video call, although the feature itself wasn’t working. WhatsApp removed the option from a later version of the beta app, but it’s a safe bet that the beta users will be the first to get their hands on video calling, since WhatsApp tends to try new features with a smaller sample first.
Video calling would be the latest in a series of moves to bring WhatsApp up to the level of Skype, or Apple’s messaging services. Last year, it rolled out universal voice calling, and last week, we got desktop apps to bring WhatsApp to more devices. Video calling is the final frontier to make WhatsApp a one-stop messaging shop — and hey, if it can crack the code and make video calling that doesn’t drop every ten minutes, it could be a true winner.
The Video Call option wasn’t ready for the public, because it was removed with a later update. But it looks like we’re in the final stages before the rollout. Like with audio calling last year, the ability to make video calls will be limited to small numbers of users initially. WhatsApp has hundreds of millions of daily users, so a data-intensive feature like video calling has to be rolled out very gradually.
If you want to experience WhatsApp video calling – and other new features – as early as possible, your best shot is to enroll in the WhatsApp beta program in Google Play. Do you look forward to this feature?