WhatsApp finally introduces Video calling for Android and iOS; here's how to get it

WhatsApp issued an official update to Google Play Store which brings video calling to the app.

WhatsApp issued an official update to Google Play Store which brings video calling to the app. You will only be able to access it, if you are using the beta version of WhatsApp for the moment.

We have reported on multiple occasions that WhatsApp developers were working on introducing video calling in addition to the audio calls. WhatsApp has recently seen the addition of GIF support as well.

WhatsApp video calling

WhatsApp video calling interface where WhatsApp asks you to rate the quality after the call.

We tested the video calling option using WhatsApp on two smartphones with the latest WhatsApp beta versions installed. Now when you hit the call button, you get two options: Voice call and Video call.

During the testing, there were some issues while connecting using 4G, while the video quality was borderline decent. We will continue to test the video calls over the time as it graduates to the stable version of WhatsApp to check the improvements in the calls.

The video calling UI is simple with three options on the bottom to switch the camera, send a text message and mute the call. You get the option to cancel the call, call again or record a voice message if your voice call is unanswered. Both the users need to be on the latest beta program in order for the WhatsApp video calls to work.

WhatsApp video calling

WhatsApp video call options and video call details

The company is also working on the ability to send full resolution images in addition to the two-factor-authentication for WhatsApp to improve the security.

WhatsApp is also working on a redesigned home screen which mimics Snapchat interface. So you slide to the right till you enter the tab which has a camera symbol, to share photos or videos with your contacts. It is merely a rearranging of Snapchat's interface.

WhatsApp new home screen

New WhatsApp home screen which gives you quick access to the camera by swiping left from the 'Chat' tab.

You can activate the video calls by going to Google Play Store and enrolling into WhatsApp beta program. The WhatsApp beta program 'join-in option' is present at the bottom of the WhatsApp Play store listing page. It takes about 5-10 minutes for the Google servers to process your request.

After the request is accepted, go to WhatsApp and backup your chat history in the "Chat backup" section inside the "Chats" option. After successfully backing up your chats, uninstall WhatsApp and reinstall it from the Google Play Store.

WhatsApp video calling

WhatsApp installation screen

One thing to note is that WhatsApp has updated the WhatsApp installation screen to go with the clean Android Marshmallow interface instead of the age old Holo interface. This isn't a recent update but demonstrates the attention to detail by WhatsApp developers.

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