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Friday, February 6, 2015

WhatsApp voice calling feature now added: here’s how to get it

 Whatsapp has finally integrated voice call functionality into the world’s most popular instant messaging app. The WhatsApp call feature hasn’t arrived to everyone, so don’t be surprised if you don’t yet have the added functionality, but rest assured, it is coming, and soon.

The story was broken on Reddit, when a user by the name of Pradnesh Patil (pradnesh07) posted some screenshots showing a Calls tab in the app and later a video showing the functionality in action.
All you need to do to get the new feature is download the latest version of the app (v2.11.508) via WhatsApp’s website and sideload it (you’ll need to enable Unknown Sources in your Security settings first) and get yourself an invitation to use the new feature from someone that already has it.

AndroidPIT WhatsApp calls tab voice call
On the left tyou can see the Calls tab and on the right, a WhatsApp call in action. © Pradnesh Patil

You’ll also need to be running Android 4.4 KitKat (although WhatsApp voice calling has also been reported by some users running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean). The most success seems to be coming from Lollipop-based phones though.
Several attempts have been made to understand the invite system, because not everyone seems to be able to activate the new feature, even with the new version, an invite and KitKat on their phone. Nevertheless, the feature has been confirmed by multiple users and doesn’t seem to be geo-specific or server based. Here’s that video I mentioned of it in action.

There is another way for rooted users to force the feature onto their phones, but it is a bit of a pain, as you’ll need to be connected to your PC and open a terminal every time you want to WhatsApp call someone (until it is enabled permanently for you).
Just open a terminal emulator and enter the following command:
su -c am start -n com.whatsapp/com.whatsapp.HomeActivity
Have you got the feature yet? Will you now turn to WhatsApp as your default dialer? 

Madhav Biju

Author & Editor

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