WhatsApp voice and video calls are now available on the desktop app
Facebook has rolled the long-awaited feature of desktop calling for Mac and PC noting that there has been a significant increase in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations. Last New Year’s Eve alone, users broke the record for the most calls ever made on WhatsApp in a single day with 1.4 billion voice and video calls.
The new feature now relieves countless people sitting in front of computers especially those working in offices who have had to reach for their phones every time a WhatsApp call pops. Answering on a bigger screen makes it easier to work with colleagues, see your family more clearly on a bigger canvas or free up your hands to move around a room while talking.
“To make desktop calling more useful, we made sure it works seamlessly for both portrait and landscape orientation, appears in a resizable standalone window on your computer screen and is set to be always on top so you never lose your video chats in a browser tab or stack of open windows,” Facebook said in a blog post.
The company said voice and video calls on WhatsApp will always be end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer. For now, WhatsApp said its desktop app for Mac and Windows will only support one-to-one calls, but that it will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls “in the future.”
To use the new video calling feature, you’ll have to set up the WhatsApp desktop app on either Mac or PC, which requires that you already be a WhatsApp user on mobile. After which you will scan a QR code to log into your account on the computer installed app. Desktop calling is supported on Windows 10 64-bit version 1903 and macOS 10.13 including the newer versions of these.
To make or receive calls on WhatsApp Desktop, you’ll need:
- An audio output device and microphone for voice and video calls.
- A camera for video calls.
- An active internet connection on your computer and phone. The call won’t go through your phone, but it needs to be online to establish the call.
- To grant WhatsApp permission to access your computer’s microphone and camera. WhatsApp needs access to your computer’s microphone for calls and a camera for video calls.