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Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has finally launched a new voice calling service, enabling users to make phone calls over the Internet. This is the first time WhatsApp is offering this, which puts it head-to-head against the likes of Skype, Viber, and others.

Things You Need To Know About WhatsApp Call

Whatsapp-Call-iOS-Android-call-details

WhatsApp Call is now available for Android and iOS. iPhone users will need to download or update the official WhatsApp app from the App Store. Android users can get this feature by downloading the latest WhatsApp version from the Play Store or from the official WhatsApp site. If you’re downloading the APK from the site, please follow the instructions to install an APK How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android Sideloading a file onto your Android device is easy, and we can show you how to do it. Read More .

Initially soft launched as an invite-only feature, some iOS users might still have to wait a little before voice calling is activated. Android users no longer need to be invited to get WhatsApp Call.

WhatsApp Call works via the Internet i.e. it uses your data plan, not your network’s voice calling ability. So it works like Skype and its many competitors Goodbye, Skype: 4 Alternative VOIP Services You Can Record Calls With Goodbye, Skype: 4 Alternative VOIP Services You Can Record Calls With Can't record calls with Skype anymore? Recent changes that break support of third-party apps have left many users frustrated. Could now be the time to try an alternative VoIP call recording service? Read More . To put it simply, you won’t be charged for making a call or have your minutes depleted. However, you will be charged for using data, depending on your phone’s data plan.

If you are using WhatsApp Call over a Wi-Fi connection, your phone’s network carrier (e.g. AT&T, Vodafone, etc.) won’t charge you anything.

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What Can You Do with WhatsApp Call

Whatsapp-Call-iOS-Android-call-log

Once you get WhatsApp Call, your app will get three tabs: Calls, Chats and Contacts. The first tab, Calls, is where your recent calls log is shown.

WhatsApp Call only allows for voice calls, not video chat. You’ll still need to use other apps to make video calls to Facebook friends 5 Apps That Let You Video Chat With Facebook Friends 5 Apps That Let You Video Chat With Facebook Friends Read More . WhatsApp Call is just like dialling a number, putting your phone to your ear and speaking—except instead of dialling a number, you will be dialling a WhatsApp contact only.

You can call any Android or iOS user with WhatsApp installed. You cannot call users on other platforms yet.

Calling someone in another country will cost the same as calling someone in your own country—all you need to pay for is the data charge, which is roughly the same regardless of where your call is going.

What Can’t You Do with WhatsApp Call

Whatsapp-Call-iOS-Android-incoming-call

You can’t call users who aren’t on WhatsApp. This is a WhatsApp-to-WhatsApp connection only.

Although WhatsApp Web integrates with your phone’s WhatsApp app WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know Along with supporting all mobile platforms, WhatsApp has now launched a web-based client, so you can finally use WhatsApp on your PC and sync with your phone. Read More , it has no support for WhatsApp Call. So you can’t check incoming calls on WhatsApp Web, nor can you make a call from your computer.

While WhatsApp text chats are encrypted and secure WhatsApp Encryption: It's Now the Most Secure Instant Messenger (Or is it?) WhatsApp Encryption: It's Now the Most Secure Instant Messenger (Or is it?) Since being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp has been forced to clean up its approach to security and privacy, which resulted in the news last year that it has introduced new encryption measures. Read More , there is no indication that voice calls are encrypted.

How Much Data Does WhatsApp Call Use?

Whatsapp-Call-iOS-Android-data-cost

WhatsApp has not officially released figures on the estimated data usage, and it’s a little difficult to come to an exact number. However, we tried a few tests to come to an approximate idea.

WhatsApp Call in the Same Country (India to India):

  • 1 minute: 280 KB
  • 5 minutes: 1.1 MB

WhatsApp Call International (India to USA):

  • 1 minute: 330 KB
  • 5 minutes: 1.25 MB

We tracked data usage with the Onavo Count app, and multiple calls showed no significant difference between data consumption on 3G or Wi-Fi. By most estimates, this data usage should cost less than what a phone call costs.

Please note that this isn’t a scientific test by any standard, use it only as a yardstick for a rough approximation. And this is data in the “megabytes” sense, not in terms of what information it collects. Here is everything you need to know about your WhatsApp privacy settings Everything You Need To Know About Your WhatsApp Privacy Settings Everything You Need To Know About Your WhatsApp Privacy Settings Read More .

How Does WhatsApp Call Compare to Competitors?

Whatsapp-Call-iOS-Android-stock

WhatsApp Call has clear voice output but it sometimes leads to a slight lag in responses and you even get echoes. It isn’t as smooth an experience as Viber, which has been doing VOIP calls for a long time. That’s not to say WhatsApp Call is bad, just that we now expect a hassle-free, no-fuss experience with voice calls which it doesn’t always deliver.

Still, one of WhatsApp’s main attractions is how it reduced SMS costs and improved text messaging Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed Better Than Text Messages & Free - WhatsApp For Android Reviewed A moment of introspection, please: What do you do more often - call people using your phone, or text them? I would bet it's the latter. For many people, texting is more convenient than calling.... Read More , so maybe WhatsApp Call can do the same thing with phone call costs.

Download: WhatsApp for Android (Free)

Download: WhatsApp for Android APK from official site (Free)

Download: WhatsApp for iOS (Free)

WhatsApp vs. Viber vs. Others

Will you use WhatsApp Call? If you have already tried it, what did you think? Let’s talk in the comments about this exciting new development!

Image credit: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com, focal point / Shutterstock.com, PathDoc / Shutterstock.com

  1. Rita guzman
    November 29, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    We both have international unlimited calling thru phone providers and call is unable to connect, we can see call comming in bit it doesn't connect

  2. Rita guzman
    November 29, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Unable to connect to Mexico..screen shows call coming in ? but it doesn't connect.. why?

  3. Jagan Avasarala
    October 14, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    I recently got zapped by AT and T when I made international calls to India and UK. The calls to that specific Indian # is something that I had done multiple times but I got burnt once, recently. The call to UK, meanwhile, was a first and I got stuck with a 23 dollar bill. Anyone had similarly lousy experiences ? Or is AT and T to blame ? Trying to sop off are they ?

    Jagan

    • Claire
      November 3, 2016 at 2:15 am

      We have had similar experience with T-mobile. In our case, we got slammed with a $172 bill. :(

  4. Guillermo
    September 18, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Why when I receive a whatsapp call that call shows in my whatsapp call list and shows in to my regular phone calls list too , how can I avoid that ?

  5. Kerry
    September 12, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    Was very useful when no credit left but have wifi in the house and out & about (free wifi areas) Use call & text feature ALOT. Brilliant invention!!

  6. nigel
    July 24, 2016 at 6:15 am

    I live in Spain and have my android phone call another whatsapp user on my contact list without my knowledge. Most irritating to user and other contact list party. This has happened on 3 difference occasions now. Anybody know of a solution to this problem. My phone initiates the call without me doing anything.

  7. VENKATESH A N
    July 14, 2016 at 7:36 am

    My whatsup calls work only one way. There is no audio from the call receiver. You can be heard but cannot hear on calls. Any explanations????

  8. Shahir Sirkar
    July 6, 2016 at 5:23 am

    My WhatsApp call history log for my iPhone 6s is not showing me recent people that I have called? please could someone inform this is happening. Thank You

    • Shahir Sirkar
      July 6, 2016 at 5:24 am

      My WhatsApp call history log for my iPhone 6s is not showing me recent people that I have called? please could someone inform why this is happening. Thank You

  9. Mildrene
    April 18, 2016 at 3:15 am

    I have a question.
    If I'm on a WhatsApp call and someone calls me on viber at the same time, what does my phone status show at that time? Busy, idle, non-responsive?

  10. njsu8
    December 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    hiw do u use this

    • njsu8
      December 19, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      How do u use this

    • njsu8
      December 19, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      It don't work and it wont let me charge my phone so u need to don't this thing off like u is using up my phone bill and it is 2,000 dollars know u better be happy i am rich cause if i was not rich i would not be able to pay my bill no more so bye y'all just get on my nerves

    • njsu8
      December 19, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      eomgg yall get on my nevers

  11. Baron Dean
    November 25, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    A lot of people complaining about charges obviously haven't read their data suppliers roaming charges. If you are using your data plan in another country then you had best have a plan for roaming access, else you can expect a large fee for using that countries mobile pilon connection to what ever country. I have used whatsapp calls in several countries without charges because I have a large roaming data plan to accommodate my usage. Whatsapp is a great calling platform in my opinion, and I haven't had a single issue with lag or echo.

  12. Mbonu Afamefuna
    October 22, 2015 at 12:48 am

    Who pays for the data charges (deductions) on a subscribed data plan? Is it the caller or the reciever, or do they both have their contributions to make I.e shared cost?
    Is the caller and the reciever paying the same time for a sinle call?

  13. ritatatatano1
    July 24, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Be careful, you may get charged.......

    I updated Watsapp on my iPhone to phone my boyfriend who also updated Whatsapp when I was in Nepal (responding to the recent earthquake). Instead of giving us free calls through the Wi-Fi I was on, it re routed the calls onto the Ncell (Nepalese) phone network. I ended up with a phone bill for £554 from 3mobile. Whatsapp are not answering my emails and 3mobile tell me that as the calls went through as normal calls (but from Nepal to back home!) I still need to pay!

    Has anyone else had this?

    Thanks

    • Seranok
      January 16, 2016 at 7:24 am

      Not sure if you will read this or it is late, but whatsapp consumes more bandwidth on mobile data than on wifi. You are at fault for not doing enough research about something free that cost you the price of an iPhone 5s. Adios.

  14. John
    May 8, 2015 at 6:07 pm

    Absolute Crap feature ! Didn't expect this from WhatsApp ! The calls have tremendous lag , and the call quality varies between different OS.
    I'll stick to Skype , Viber and hangouts !

  15. Nissa niyaz
    May 2, 2015 at 1:57 am

    Whatsapp call very very clear.phone dont heat .. we love whats app

  16. Silvio
    April 27, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Tried watupp calls this morning. No good at All moved bank to skype stratway

  17. Charlie
    April 27, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Whatsapp is about the most worst program I've ever seen; after having my FB account hacked I found that theres a bunch of backdoors and programs you can use that allow anyone access not only your FB but your entire phone and computer threw Whatsapp to the extent that your FB phone and or computer believe that it's actually you doing things with your account ANYTHING. If don't believe this just look up security issues with Whatsapp!!!

    • Anonymous
      May 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

      So what are you doing chat or what

  18. Panache Guha
    April 27, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Does the recipient not using wi fi shall be charged when a caller using wi fi calls over wi fi ?

  19. Kees
    April 25, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Tried it. Very poor quality. Echo makes it unusable.

  20. v mawere
    April 25, 2015 at 8:54 am

    thanks for the information but i have a question what do i do when my number has been barred on the whatsapp server? second question is why was my number barred?i lost my phone about 2 weeks ago and i have a new phone and new sim card but same number

    • Verno
      April 25, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Type your response here

  21. desijunk
    April 24, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    To see your data for the calls you could have gone in to (I see it in iOS)

    Settings->Account->Network Usage->WhatsApp call bytes sent/WhatsApp call bytes received.

  22. some one
    April 24, 2015 at 7:49 am

    it is lovely.

    and you can do Compare Application

    FaceTime VS Hangout VS Viber VS Line

    supported OS / Platform
    Power consumption on every device
    Network Bandwidth Voice/Video
    Feature Compare between all
    Video / Voice Quality
    Search function to make new call / user friendly

    • Mihir Patkar
      April 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      Great idea! I'll pitch it to my editor and hopefully do a comparison soon :)

  23. Lalit Kumar
    April 24, 2015 at 6:47 am

    check out Jio Chat (Voice and Video Call Messaging App) and give your reviews.

    • Mihir Patkar
      April 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

      I did, I like the app, but not many people in my contact list use it. If that changes in the future, then WhatsApp has a competitor here!

  24. Chinmay S
    April 24, 2015 at 2:47 am

    No I won't use WhatsApp call. The best messaging app is now live - Jio Chat.
    It has a ton of features including voice call and video call. The quality of its voice call is best according to reviews on Internet.
    The only advantage WhatsApp has is its user base, else everything is in favour of Jio Chat.

    • Mihir Patkar
      April 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm

      I'm Indian, so I actually have used Jio Chat :D

      I'm in complete agreement that Jio is technically a superior product. In fact, I'd say so is Line. However, it's not entirely about technical superiority here. Like you said, it's the large database of active users WhatsApp has. If I need to call someone on Jio/Line/Viber, chances are, they don't have it installed on their device.

      I just did a quick tally of my contact list on Jio, Line and Viber. None of them are even more than my WhatsApp list's contacts under the names A, B and C.

    • Sean
      May 7, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      There will be International Charges applied to your Cell phone Bill due Whatsapp. I got the $600 bill and I have sent multiple emails to Whatsapp. I have found other users also ended up more than $1000 in international call charges due to Whatsapp. So please stay away from thistrappyWhatsapp. This is simply ridiculous. None of the service providers are giving any credits back. I hope people completely stop usingwhatsapp. This applies to Text, and Calls both. You can verify it with Sprint, T-mobile or ATT.

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