Voice services coming to WhatsApp this spring


The popular instant messaging client WhatsApp, recently acquired by social network giant Facebook, is to add voice services to its feature list this spring. Not only will WhatsApp users be able to send and receive IMs as they have enjoyed doing so for years already, but friends and family will be able to hold voice chats through the clients too.  

WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum made the announcement at Mobile World Congress. Voice services will be deployed on both Android and iOS first, with Nokia and BlackBerry phones to follow suit. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise to Windows Phone owners. That said, there is quite the variety of VoIP apps already available on the platform – including Microsoft's own Skype.

We'll keep you posted on any updates.

Source: TechCrunch


Reader comments

Voice services coming to WhatsApp this spring


ehmm... do you really know what you are talking about?

group call IS FREE in skype, the one that isnt free its the group VIDEO call, which not many use anyway.

lol how do you think people chat when they are videogaming? alot of people use skype because its the fastest thing, and YES, they do group calls.

next time please, use the software before talking.

group video call is free for me :D ...well for a year, thanks to promotional premium features they handed out a few weeks (months?) ago..

exactly...ideally there should be just one perfect app to do all the work...IM, voice call, video call, voice message, video message, file sending, etc.. Skype still doesn't share files.

Forget Skype. For desktop/laptops it's not bad. For smartphones you'll be better off tying a string between two yoghurt cans.

I'm happy for you. Unfortunately many of Microsoft services (in Portugal) suck. Starting with Bing search and ending with Xbox video (which is not available) or the Xbox one which is set to launch in October. I still prefer windows phone over any other mobile OS, for the time being.

And what instead? Whatsapp still can't be used across devices, can't store messages remotely, can't send videos over 12 Mb (several seconds on PV Lumias)... Even Telegram which is only some months old is better that ways. Whatsapp is stuck in stagnation, wish fb kicks it forward to earn back their billions. Because MS started working on Skype immediately.
Ps. Skype works with even EDGE. I mean voice calls. I stopped paying my operator for voice calls long ago, now only Skype.

They're pushing hard for the top spot. Bbm has this feature already, but the whatsapp install and user base make this a huge win for whatsapp.

ehmm there are many services that already offer this feature..
I dont know why you are so ignorant to think it will make people use whatsapp more, you know, it doesnt even offer windows or windows 8 app for example. and others IMs with video call and all offers it, and Skype is still used alot.

they will release Whatsapp BETA* in summer 2016.
The full official one will launch in 2030.

This is excellent news. Looking at the way Whatsapp is going forwards adding several new features to the WP version, I think by spring Windows Phone users will have a full fleged Whatsapp with fetures in par with the Andriod and iOS app.

Where is the latest Whatsapp update! Why does it take them so many days to release the updates to public on WP?

Ahhh I used to wonder why my buddies started talking like chip&dale, now I see, voice calls came faster :)

Ok, I gotta ask: what's with all these "seems faster!" comments all over the place? Is there a joke or meme I missed?

I believe the joke arose as a result of all the extremely minor updates to many official apps (mainly Facebook I believe) that appeared to do very little, even after promising 'performance improvements.'

Note: Don't quote me on this, my grasp of these things is usually limited at best :P

That said, there is quite the variety of VoIP apps already available on the platform – including Microsoft's own Skype

Oh yeah, because Skype is just such a fantastic app.

Exactly my thoughts! Skype is so crappy, doesnt have file transfer and 9 out of 10 times i try to use its voice calling feature, it fails.

Skype team seriously need to step up here. We were promised Skype embedded on WP8, now on the verge of the 8.1 launch, still nothing. 

Not solid here for calls, 9 times out of 10 it fails to connect. Its so bad i don't bother with it any more.

Voice chat and video chat have long been available on QQ and WeChat.

Whatsapp is really very slow in adding features

Fuck Skype they deserve to die a horrible slow user base of 0. They had years to use and combine MSN, Lync, and Skype knowledge. But they just don't get it. Skype needs to go by phone number like whatsapp. People don't want to add each other anymore. Also the Skype app is freaking slow it is beyond insane. It is like it has no cache at all. And why are all history messages always hidden under stupid links like 2 days ago and 1 month ago, it is annoying as shit. It is just one huge mess and now they are doomed to be forgotten. They already lost. Own fault.

MS its easy for u to provide a decent update for Skype. I know updates on wp aren't easy like ios and now watsapp will be in hands of FB.

Can you guys plz use calender months.. I have to search for when is the summer and spring for US everytime I read news here... There's a life outside US..

J/k that's actually a pretty reasonable suggestion, but perhaps the company didn't give them a certain month. Perhaps the whatsapp people just said "spring" and didn't get any more specific.

the whatsapp people still claim to not indulge in ads :-/ but they are now owned by FB, hope it doesn't change that.

Our group just moved to Telegram. I had no choice but to follow. Whatsapp needs to increase the max people to 200. Btw, it is a lot faster than whatsapp i must say. Just tried Telegram since an hour ago.

See, I hope WhatsApp never releases a desktop app. I've always thought that ruins the point of a mobile text app. And yes, I did get annoyed when Line released their Windows 8 app for this reason.

Don't try to make Whatsapp something it was never supposed to be. It will do more damage than good.

For people who send hundreds of messages, photos, and videos to their relatives/friends in other countries everyday...SMS is not the option. Almost everyone has a data plan or WiFi these days, and such IM apps help those people to keep in touch.

Still want them to sort out the push notification problems that seems to be on most Windows Phones, any idea if this will finally be fixed in the next update?

I don't know why but everything is so slow for windows phone. From patience to frustration now. No new features for what's app, BBM in July-Sept and now what's app voice feature too will come on ios and android first then on wp. Wait wait wait wait and waitttt. Seriously we are at no. 3 with a huge gap. This app gap will never be over. Feel frustrated now that we don't get new apps and features.

Developers who got access to windows phone 8.1 sdk can u people tell how WiFi direct works in wp8 and post a video relating to it? And if we can at least share videos using WiFi direct with android.

Well we might not have too long a wait, the Whatsapp team are pretty good about their WP App...unlike Viber..and especially the Skype team, who've done diddly squat so far.