WhatsApp video calling is finally here with the update now available on Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices. WhatsApp says video calling will use learning from voice calls to make it fast and reliable. Also video calls are end-to-end encrypted just like chats and other media on the platform. For you to get started with video calling, it is important that your friends are on the same version of the app. Here are the top five things that you must know about WhatsApp’s video calling feature:
How to download
Video calling will work on all devices with Android 4.1 and above. The company is rolling out the feature via a simple update. You will need to upgrade your app from the respective app store for the feature to show up. Now go to a chat and click on the call icon on top right. Simply choose video calling to start one with friends. For iOS users, there’s a video icon next to the call icon. Just tap on the video symbol and the call will begin.
Do note, if you get any link or message claiming to offer WhatsApp video call feature, then don’t click on it. This is likely a malicious link and could result in a phishing attack.
WhatsApp allows for multi-tasking during a video call. Once the call connects, you will be able to choose either the rear or front camera of the phone for your call. You can keep switching between the two cameras during the call.
A user can choose if the preview of your video is the main image in the call or the incoming video from your friend. Users can also minimise the call window to open other chats, send messages etc with the same person, and the video call won’t get disconnected. The location of the smaller window can be moved to anywhere on the screen.
Quality of video
WhatsApp says the quality of videos automatically adjusts depending on network speeds and quality. The company is doing so to ensure video calls are fast and reliable at all times. Manpreet Singh, Product Lead, WhatsApp told Indianexpress.com that the company will try to continue the call as much as possible without interrupting. “There is a whole diversity of connection speeds, even within networks. We are working to expand that range,” he added.
Essentially if your network connectivity is very poor, the video quality will get really compressed in order to ensure the video call continues.
WhatsApp app does not have a separate tab to list just the data usage of video calling. In iOS and Android, all call data is clubbed under one tab in the Data Usage section. In our case, we used 3G network for a 2-minute session of video calling on WhatsApp. The total data used in this video call was around 2.3 MB. However, there were noticeable lags during the call which suggests WhatsApp needs to do much more to improve the quality of calls on its platform.
No group video-calling
WhatsApp video calling feature has not yet been rolled out for groups. However, there are multiple malicious links inviting people to download the same. The malicious link reads, “You’re invited to try WhatsApp Video Calling feature. Only people with the invitation can enable this feature.” Clicking on the link will ask you to invite more friends for video calling to activate on your device. Once again don’t click on these links.