Spitting in the face of tired cliché, WhatsApp’s new calling feature that has hit the market this month means that talk is not just cheap; now calls can now be made for free
between WhatsApp contacts.
Considering how big the app is in Argentina (if you don’t have WhatsApp here you’re probably a weirdo), this is already a huge deal.
Unfortunately, or, deliciously, depending on what camp you fall into, app co-founder Brian Acton saysit’s going to be “a couple” to “several” weeks for the iPhone (or iOS) version to be available. So, you know, mark it in your calendar somewhere between “today” and “the length of a piece of string”.
The feature itself is free to get hold of, and so long as you stay connected to a WiFi network the actual call should be too. (Which should be fine for everyone, right, thanks to the government’s BAWiFi! LOL)
Just kidding, but you will at least get solid connection from the majority of cafes, restaurants, bars, and public buildings in the city. Although because WhatsApp calls are placed using either WiFi or mobile data, you might get charged for the mobile data, depending on what internet plan you have.
The catch is, my dear Android users, that in order to use this new feature you’ll need to be invited by someone else.
So you need to find someone who’s already activated this option and then get them to use the feature to call you. Which means it’s currently the VIP lounge of the WhatsApp community, and you’re scrounging for a spare +1.
Once you’re in, the WhatsApp user interface will change to a three-tab layout with calls, chats and contacts. Calling contacts through the app will then immediately be done using the WhatsApp call feature, which means that if you find yourself in a patchy WiFi spot you’re going to have to go back through to your regular phone app to make calls.
Which some sites are listing as a “con”, but… I mean, seriously…
If you’re having trouble, it might be that you’re trying to get in at a time when WhatsApp has closed the “invite window”. Don’t worry, the teases have been opening and shutting this window for a few weeks now, and it should re-open within a couple of days. Alternatively, check which version your device is running on– you’ll need to update to at least v2.11.561. You’ll also need to enable ‘Unknown Sources’ in your security settings (Settings > Security > Unknown Sources. n00b.)
By The Way, Please Stop Forwarding This
Predictably enough, somebody’s already tried to jump onto this hype-bandwagon and fleece all the passengers–such is the age we live in. If you get a WhatsApp message from a contact demanding you to invite eight of your friends in order to activate the feature, don’t do it. It’s just not legit. And you should know better.
Now go call your mother. She misses you.