Sixteen months after WhatsApp released its desktop app, voice and video calls are now available on personal computers and laptops. The update has been in trial in WhatsApp’s beta program but now, these features are available for use on personal computers and laptops. Users will have to update the WhatsApp desktop app on either Mac or Windows to be able to use the new voice and video calling feature. To be able to use WhatsApp on PC in the first place, one must already be using the instant messaging app on mobile.
WhatsApp calls on mobile are end-to-end encrypted; this means WhatsApp and parent company Facebook cannot see and/or hear the calls of users. Voice and video calls are also end-to-end encrypted on personal computers and laptops too. Just like it is on mobile, WhatsApp cannot see and/or hear the calls of users.
Users need to have the WhatsApp app on their laptop before they’d be able to make voice and video calls to their contacts. This works just the way it does on mobile.
Although it is possible to make and receive voice and video calls on WhatsApp, there is no support for group video calling on desktop, but Facebook says it is already working on this and should be available soon.
The new update that supports voice and video calls can only be supported by Macs running on macOS 10.13 and higher, and laptops running on Windows 10 64bit version 1903 and higher.
Another requirement needed to be able to use the new feature is, users will require an audio output device and microphone for voice and video calls. The new updates cannot work on personal computers and laptops that do not have cameras; video calling would be impossible without a camera.
WhatsApp advises users to use a headset so that they can get the best audio experience; that using separate external microphone and speaker devices might cause echo.
A downside to this update is that users require active internet connection on both their phone and computer to be able to make calls. Although the call won’t be processed through the phone, it is needed anyway for calling on PC and laptops to work.
Just like on mobile, WhatsApp for desktop will require permission from users’ computers to be able to use microphone and camera.
One huge benefit of this new update is that on desktop, users will be able to switch between voice and video calls efficiently.
WhatsApp’s desktop update promises to get better with time and there is a huge possibility that it will become the number one voice and video calling app for PCs and laptops, if improvements continue at this rate.