What you need to know
- WhatsApp can now make voice and video calls through its desktop app.
- Previously, the desktop client only supported sending messages.
- The desktop client still doesn't support group calls.
After what seems like an eternity of waiting, WhatsApp is rolling out support for voice and video calls through its desktop app. The makers of WhatsApp beta tested voice and video calling for some time, but it is now rolling out to desktops, including Windows 10 PCs (via TechCrunch).
The WhatsApp desktop app now supports both voice and video calls, but only for one-on-one communication. At this time, you can't use the desktop app for group calls. In the future, WhatsApp will update the desktop app to support group calls.
You can use video calls in either portrait or landscape mode. When you're on a call on your PC, the call is "set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows," according to WhatsApp.
Notably, voice and video calls are not coming to WhatsApp Web at this time. That means you have to download the WhatsApp Desktop app, not just pin the WhatsApp web interface. Luckily, the app is free and easy to use.
Over 2 billion people use WhatsApp (via TechCrunch). During the current global pandemic, many people have had to mix and match services to communicate through all of their devices. With support for voice and video calls on desktops, quite a few people shouldn't have to jump around between apps as much to stay in touch.
Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
Still an half client, no thanks
Pity not the Web App. It's the go to app on Windows on ARM PCs. No reason why it couldn't do.
It's only supported in the 64-Bit app, which means it's not currently supported on the Surface Pro X or other ARM devices. Why wouldn't they add it to the 32-Bit app too? It wasn't there for me so tried both 32-Bit and 64-Bit on my Intel laptop. The only buttons are only there in the 64-Bit app. FFS.
It's mentioned in the system requirements: Windows 64-Bit only. https://faq.whatsapp.com/web/voice-and-video-calls/about-desktop-calling As if the PC industry wants to be considered old compared to Macs.
Been using this function for a while now, and it works really well for us. WhatsApp is more popular outside the US though, based on what I have heard.
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