WhatsApp has done what many have been anticipating for. Some time back WhatsApp introduced the voice calling feature on its platform. This is a move that was applauded by many. The big question was when they would go the Skype way. That time is now at least for Windows phone users. Yes you heard that right all of you Android and iOS users. Earlier this week WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone rolled out an update that granted windows phone users to video call right through the app itself.
This is a first one for the Windows phone platform. The fact that a developer decided to launch a new feature first on the Windows platform before the more preferred Android and iOS platforms. Unfortunately some WhatsApp beta users claim that the feature has not rolled out to them yet. I ten d to think that it is them who are not aware of how to access it. The video calling feature is somehow tucked in and is not easy to immediately pin point it out.
How to initiate a video call
The following is the procedure for initiating a video call. For all those claiming you are not ye able to access the feature follow this steps and you might realize it was just there right before your eyes disguised in a different mask.
- Launch the WhatsApp beta app.
- If you are using the regular WhatsApp app for Windows Phone you will not be able to access this feature. If you want to try out the video calling feature you will need to uninstall the regular app, head over to the Windows Store and download the beta version of the app.
- Go to the contact you wish to initiate a video call with.
- At the top right corner you will see a call button. Tap or click it.
- When you do that it presents you with two options.
- Voice call
- Video call
Note that initially when you clicked the call button it automatically resolved to a voice call but now it gives you the option to choose whether you want voice or video call. I believe this is where those individuals claiming not to have the feature are going astray. They think that they ought to see a dedicated video call button right next to the usual call button that we are accustomed to. The call button now serves both purposes.
Note that you can only video call a Windows Phone user who is using the latest WhatsApp beta version. If you try to call a contact on the iOS or Android platform you will get the error message
“Couldn’t place call
xxxx is using a phone that doesn’t support video calls”
Video calling features
Once you initiate a video call you can switch between the front and the rear camera. Apart from that you can also choose to mute the video call. The video calling feature was first introduced in WhatsApp beta version 2.16.262 which is the one that I am currently on but the app has already been updated to version 2.16.264 which also incorporates the feature. If you do not like daily app updates then I suggest you stick to the regular app.