WhatsApp could be testing the ability to make video and voice calls via its desktop app, as per a tweet by The Guardian's Alex Hern. This facility is currently not available through WhatsApp Web or through the desktop app either, but it could arrive soon to all users. Hern shared an image on Twitter that shows both the video call button and the voice call button inside a chat on the desktop app. With this functionality, WhatsApp looks to offer users the ability to make calls through multiple devices, and not just limit it to smartphones.
Hern tweeted a screenshot of two new call buttons – for video calling and voice calling – he spotted on his WhatsApp desktop beta app. Currently, the desktop app has a lone search button in the chats top bar, but the video and call buttons should appear alongside soon. The screenshot shows the video call and voice call buttons sitting next to the search option in Hern's tweet. He adds that the buttons are appearing in the beta version of the app, and not the stable version.
There is no clarity on when these calling buttons will go live for all desktop users, but currently it is still in its testing phase. This isn't the first time we've heard of WhatsApp working on bringing voice and video call buttons to PCs and laptops. Features tracker WABetaInfo reportedly spotted the same on WhatsApp Web in October this year. The report claimed that when you get a call and are using WhatsApp Web on your desktop, a pop-up window appears with options for receiving and rejecting the call. There is also an ‘Ignore' option at the bottom. When making a call, a smaller pop-up appears with options for starting the video, mute, decline, and more settings.
WhatsApp already supports messaging through the desktop client and video- and voice-calling support will make things much more cohesive. Facebook has made no announcements regarding this feature, but now that it has been spotted in testing on both WhatsApp Web and the desktop client, an announcement can be expected soon.
In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.