Technology with attitude

WhatsApp Free Calls?

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WhatsApp is one of the biggest players is online messaging right now. With other platforms failing to provide the exact service users provide, for instance iMessenger being tied to iOS, or Skype having a whole bunch of issues with the way you log in, the exposure of IP and a whole variety of other issues. This is what makes WhatsApp so appealing to people. It’s messaging done simple, and there is a huge crowd of people realizing this and jumping aboard, even leading to a whopping $19billion purchase by Facebook.

This is the reason WhatsApp is such a valuable property, although is does miss a fairly key feature for many users who find text communication doesn’t cover all of their needs, and a quick check on the WhatsApp website will unfortunately tell you that at present there is no voice call function available.

This does not mean that free calls are not ever going to be a reality though. Back in April there was a slight leak regarding voice calls, as one of the translations for WhatsApp included translations for “hang up” as well as “incoming call” and “outcoming call”. By itself this could signify a plan for change in the future, but gets really interesting when paired with a secret part of the latest update for iOS.

The latest version of the iOS app has some very strong hints at voice calling coming soon, as in the privacy settings for the app included settings for the microphone, meaning you could choose to give the app access to it. Even more interesting than just the option is the result of turning it off. Turning off the setting and relaunching the app will cause it to request access to the microphone, to “record voice messages” as well as “record videos with sounds” and  perhaps best of all “make and receive voice calls”

This confirms to us that not only do WhatsApp want to add a voice call feature, but have even added a significant amount of the back end required to create the calls, such as privileges on the devices using WhatsApp, and the translations for other languages. This means that WhatsApp is likely to add voice calls in the very near feature, and even have a significant amount of the code ready to go. Perhaps they are waiting on the Android version to fnally release it, but either way if you’re considering jumping ship for voice call support, perhaps you should wait a few weeks for free voice calls instead!