A Reddit user said he / she was able to try out WhatsApp’s upcoming voice calling feature by downloading the APK file from the app’s website
Although WhatsApp has been saying it would roll out voice calling capabilities for almost a year, we’re just now starting to see that happen—possibly. If this latest report is true, the roll-out is apparently progressing very slowly and may have begun in India with just a small number of users.
WhatsApp quietly rolling out voice calling?
Andrew Griffin of The Independent pointed to a post on Reddit by user pradnesh07, who claimed they can now making voice calls using their WhatsApp account. However, that post was deleted not long after it was put up, which suggests that perhaps the early access to the feature was a mistake.
However, another report from Shreya Shetty of Mobiletor also said others had access to WhatsApp’s voice calling feature, indicating that it probably wasn’t a mistake at all. Instead, the company may simply be trying to test it out quietly with just a few users. The post states that a small number of Android users received invitations to try it out. In order to receive an invitation, users have to receive a call through WhatsApp from someone who already has the feature.
Video demonstrates WhatsApp’s voice calling
There is still a video that was posted on YouTube showing how the voice calling feature on WhatsApp actually works. The YouTube user appears not to be the same Reddit user who reported having early access to voice calling on WhatsApp, at least if you take the time to read the description.
YouTube user Vadlamudi Mohankumar states that the post from Reddit user pradnesh07 said in order to gain access to the voice calling feature on WhatsApp, they downloaded the APK file from the app’s website. The description on the video also states that it’s currently on an invitation-only basis.
The full video that purportedly shows WhatsApp’s voice calling feature is embedded at the bottom of this post.
How WhatsApp’s voice calling feature works
The video works indicates that there will be a WhatsApp contact list that looks and operates similar to the contacts list found in most smartphones. The feature is expected to be included in WhatsApp version 2.11.508, which has not yet been released. It’s expected that the company will only make it available to Android users at first and then expand the feature to include iOS devices, if not also BlackBerry and Windows Phone.
WhatsApp management said previously that they would start rolling out voice calling in 2014, but that never happened. They did up the security of the app, however, pushing out seamless end-to-end encryption in November by partnering with Open Whisper Systems to do it.