WhatsApp Voice Calling - Everything You Need to Know

WhatsApp, the most popular instant messaging service used worldwide, has started rolling out the voice calling feature to its users. The company is rolling out the new feature in phases, and it appears some will have to wait longer than others.
Here are the answers to all your questions about WhatsApp's voice calling feature.

What is WhatsApp voice calling?
Until recently, WhatsApp only let users send text messages to their contacts alongside allowing sharing of files (including images, music or even videos). With the addition of voice calling, the app now allows voice calls over mobile data or Wi-Fi - also called VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol.
WhatsApp's CEO, Jan Koum, had in February last year announced plans to rollout the voice calling feature by the end of the year In October he revealed that the rollout would be delayed till Q1 2015. Koum cited several obstacles including technical issues before the service could work seamlessly. Interestingly, Koum had also revealed that the WhatsApp development team was working on ways to implement the voice calling service in poor data coverage areas, considering that many WhatsApp users in emerging markets are still on 2G networks.
What does it cost?
The service is free, and not charged by WhatsApp. Much like other apps like Skype and Viber offering VoIP, WhatsApp voice calling uses a data connection to place a call, whether over Wi-Fi or mobile data. This data use however can be chargeable, based on your Internet plan.
For users of unlimited broadband Internet plans, the only worry is if the voice calling feature will work properly on lower speeds once the FUP limit is exhausted. Similarly, users of 2G and 3G data plans who exhaust their allocated data will have to after that point pay per KB used, which can go up to as high as Rs. 0.10 per 10KB on 2G and Rs. 0.04 per 10KB on 3G.

Soon after news about WhatsApp's voice calling feature was reported last year, Indian telecom player Airtel announced it would soon roll out a special plan to charge separately for data used on VoIP calls, although the company backtracked on this soon after, saying it was waiting for Trai's consultation paper on OTT players. It will be interesting to see how this plays out once WhatsApp voice calling really takes off.
Is it available to everyone?
Unfortunately, WhatsApp is rolling out the voice calling feature in phases, which means it is currently available to limited users. The company recently started pushing out the voice calling feature to all Android users with the invite window open for several hours. As of filing this report, the window has closed again, though it may open again without notice.
The wait for non-Android users might be longer as WhatsApp's voice-calling feature is currently rolling out to users of Google's mobile operating system. 

How do I get voice calling?
To get WhatsApp's voice calling feature on Android, one has to download the latest version (2.12.12) of WhatsApp for Android from the company's official website. As of filing this report, Google Play still offers WhatsApp for Android version 2.12.5, which doesn't supports the voice-calling feature.
After the latest WhatsApp Android version is installed, you have to ask someone with WhatsApp voice calling already activated to make a WhatsApp call to your number (yes that's the only way).
Remember a missed call doesn't activate WhatsApp calling. One has to receive the call and wait for a few seconds before disconnecting to activate WhatsApp voice calling. Once WhatsApp voice calling is enabled, users will notice a completely revamped UI showing a new three-tab layout with Calls, Chats and Contacts. Check our How to Activate WhatsApp Voice Calling post for more details.
How does it compare to other services?
WhatsApp voice calling is similar in function as other VoIP apps, such as Skype, Viber, and Hangouts. However, considering that WhatsApp is the most widely used instant messaging service on mobile, having the voice calling feature in the app only expands the user experience.

A word of caution
A lot of people are waiting impatiently for WhatsApp's voice calling feature and it seems some people are exploiting this interest. Security company Quick Heal in a blog has reported about a hoax message spreading around various WhatsApp communities.
The message reads, "Hey, I am inviting you to try WhatsApp calling click here to activate now->". Do not click on this link - as we noted earlier the only way to activate WhatsApp calling is to be running the latest version of the Android app and to receive a voice call from someone who already has the service.
Quick Heal explains, "this message is a hoax and an attempt to get users to download malicious apps and fill a survey form." So stay away from such messages and enjoy WhatsApp voice calling safely - once you finally receive it.

how to activate voice calling on whatsapp

WhatsApp has finally integrated voice call functionality into the world’s most popular instant messaging app. The WhatsApp call feature has finally been made available to anyone with the very latest version of the app. Be warned though that there is a new WhatsApp voice calling scam going around. Here's how to safely get WhatsApp voice calls on your phone.

How to enable WhatsApp voice calls

The ability to activate voice calls on WhatsApp finally seems to be here for keeps. To get it, you need to update your WhatsApp app to at least v2.11.561. The official WhatsApp website now has v2.12.7 (versions before v2.11.561 failed to enable WhatsApp voice calls for us reliably, whereas v2.11.561 has worked first try on several devices, as has v2.12.7).
You’ll need to enable Unknown Sources in your Security settings first and get a call from someone you know that already has the WhatsApp voice calling feature enabled. You'll then see three tabs at the top of your WhatsApp interface: calls, chats and contacts.
Once you receive a call from someone with WhatsApp calls, you'll see three tabs.
The calls tab will show you a detailed call log and in any chat with a WhatsApp contact you'll find that the dialer icon at the top now makes calls direct via WhatsApp and not the regular dialer. We've tested the latest version with several phones and they all worked first try, so it looks like the wait is finally over and WhatsApp voice calls are here for everyone. Still, there's no need to wait for the right version to hit the Play Store is there?

How to access Whatsapp in web browser?

The mobile messaging service has introduced a new feature by which users can access it even through a web browser

Mobile messaging service Whatsapp is now available in web server.
Whatsapp, which was recently acquired by social media giant Facebook, in its blogpost said: “Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser.”
The web client will mirror conversations and messages from the mobile device, the post said.
How to access Whatsapp in web browser?
WhatsApp can be connected by in a Google Chrome browser.
Update the WhatsApp app to the latest version in your phone.
Choose WhatsApp Web from the menu.
You will see a QR code — scan the code inside of WhatsApp, and you’re ready to go. You have now paired WhatsApp on your phone with the WhatsApp web client.
Your phone needs to stay connected to the internet for our web client to work.
This service is currently available to Android, Windows and Blackberry users.
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