After Facebook bought WhatsApp early this year, rumors started surfacing over the possibility of a free calls feature addition to the free messaging platform.
WhatsApp has grown to become one of the most used communication platforms. However, the lack of a free calls feature is probably one of the reasons why it is not the best platform.
With more than 450 million users currently, there is a possibility that adding the free calls feature will double the number of users on the WhatsApp platform. The possibility of a free call function was announced by the co-founder only months after the service was bought by Facebook.
The voice call service will be different from the currently available voice messaging service in that the voice call feature will, as much as possible, resemble a live conversation. The forthcoming VoIP calling service that is set to be launched from Spring 2014, was demonstrated in screenshots that were released early in 2014.
What to Expect From the Calling Service
According to the snapshots, the calling service screen will resemble the design of the iOS 7 phone app. It is expected to come with a 4-button series for muting call, switching to text message, directing the call through device speaker and for hanging up. On top of the display screen is the contact’s name, image and phone number.
All calls made using this new feature come with a colored ‘call in progress’ bar which displays whenever the user switches from WhatsApp. This is not a new thing as the same feature is used on Line and Skype as a way of notifying the user that there is an ongoing call on the platform. This functionality is made available by iOS APIs even though developers have the liberty to change the labeling and color schemes.
Also, the WhatsApp developers have made it easier for users to attach photos to their text messages. This is made possible by including a small camera icon on top of the keyboard. This cuts down on the multi-step process currently in use whenever photos need to be shared.
What Else To Expect With the New Whatsapp Version?
The new call feature on WhatsApp is expected to be offered in a 4.5.5 version, though the 4.0.0 will be upgradable, to include the feature. Along with the call feature, it is expected that the new version will include the ‘record conversation’ and ‘instant sharing’ features as well. Also, the new version is expected to make it possible for WhatsApp users to share files that are more than 25MB, thus making it possible to share HD videos and more than 20 images at a time.
The current location feature is set to be improved in the new version. This feature has been by far one of the best ones to be introduced. It uses the ‘last seen’ time to locate friends on the platform.
This is all the information currently available on the new call feature set to be introduced with the next WhatsApp version. Whether or not some of these features will be implemented remains to be seen.