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Updated by Azam Malfi on Feb 04, 2021
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Azam Malfi Azam Malfi
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WhatsApp began rolling out voice calls

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WhatsApp began rolling out voice calls

WhatsApp began rolling out voice calls

WhatsApp began rolling out voice calls slowly but sometimes showed a phone icon even if the feature hadn't been activated on your device. Instead of calling through WhatsApp, the call was placed using your existing voice plan and the built-in phone app. A cryptic error message was my only indication that my call wasn't being routed through WhatsApp's service. I last saw this problem nearly a year ago, and it has hopefully been sorted out for all users now.

A year after voice launched, WhatsApp still doesn't support live video chatting, a feature embraced by many modern messengers, including Skype, Google Hangouts, the ephemeral Snapchat, and Apple's FaceTime. Snapchat, it should be noted, recently overhauled their voice, video, and text chatting interfaces and the experience is now vastly improved.

It took a while but you can now access your WhatsApp account through the Web—kind of. The feature first rolled out for Android about a year ago and I assumed it would never make it to iPhone. To use it, you navigate to a special website and scan the QR code on the screen with a special reader in the WhatsApp Settings menu. This links your phone to the website, and you can send and receive messages from your computer.

Note that you are simply accessing the same account through your computer. We were surprised to discover that you can continue to use the desktop app from your Manhattan office even when your phone is, for example, in Queens. However, if your phone loses connectivity, you won't be able to use the desktop app read here. WhatsApp advises that you use a Wi-Fi connection when connecting to the desktop app to avoid burning through your data plan.