Back in May this year, we told you that WhatsApp was planning to introduce video calling to its platform. The company has been working on this feature for the last few months and back in October we told you that the feature was rolling out to a few beta testers.
It looks like the testing went on well as WhatsApp has rolled out an update to its official android App that sees the introduction of this feature to the main app on the play store. This means that anyone with an Android device can get this feature. The feature has just started rolling out so it may not be available to all users at the same time. I have WhatsApp beta on my phone so I have had this feature for a few weeks now, most of my friends who have WhatsApp on their Android phones still don’t have the feature.
If you do not have this feature, be patient, it will be rolling out to more users in the coming days.
With this new feature, you will be able to video chat with all your friends who are on WhatsApp no matter what platform they are on. This is of course if they have the updated app that supports video calling.
On Android, all your video calls appear on the left on your WhatsApp interface. You can access them when you open the app and swiping from the left. The calls are listed together with the voice calls you get via WhatsApp but they are marked with a video icon to differentiate them from voice calls.
The feature uses a simple picture-in-picture interface that allows you to see yourself as well as the person you are having the video call with. You will be able to easily switch between the front and rear camera.
WhatsApp says that its aim is to bring some of these features to all users and not just limit them to those who can afford expensive smartphones and live in countries with the best cellular network. This statement is probably targeting Apple’s Facetime that is limited to the company’s products that are not cheap.