WhatsApp has been working for almost two years to bring voice and video calling on desktops. The Facebook-owned company is rolling out beta versions of its desktop app that will allow users to make or receive WhatsApp calls directly from their laptops or PCs.
People who are beta testing an update to WhatsApp’s desktop client on macOS now have access to end-to-end encrypted VoIP calls and video calls in the messaging app. Even though the feature has only been rolled to a handful of users, coverage is anticipated to grow in the coming days.
WhatsApp beta testing voice and video calls on desktop
Both Facebook and WhatsApp noticed a huge leap in users making and receiving audio and video calls because of the ongoing pandemic with people working and studying from home. This move could very well be put WhatsApp on par with video-conferencing apps like Google Meet and Zoom that have also witnessed a rise in usage during this year. However, it is unclear if WhatsApp has ambitions to compete with the other two services.
According to a report by WABetaInfo, a website that tracks upcoming features in WhatsApp, when users receive voice or video calls while in the WhatsApp desktop app, a small window will pop up, which will allow them to accept or decline the call. The interface of the call is quite similar to what is available in WhatsApp’s mobile app.
During the call, a small window will appear with quick controls to enable or disable video, hang up the call, and mute the call. Among other features that are available via WhatsApp’s web interface and desktop client, a steady, as well as consistent connection with WhatsApp on the user’s phone, is required.
You can download WhatsApp Desktop for Windows or Mac from the official website here.