Here's the news that the thousands of you who have been hovering over every update on our previous WhatsApp Calls post have been waiting for. The service's calling functionality now seems to be open, no questions asked, no invites needed, no hacks required. The only "catch" is that you seem to need version 2.12.19, which you can find hosted on APK Mirror or on WhatsApp's website.

Once you download the apk file and install it (make sure you have Unknown Sources enabled in your phone's Security Settings to be able to do so), you'll open WhatsApp and the app's UI will have switched over to the new one with the Calls functionality enabled. This has been reported by several users and one AP member who previously didn't have the function and didn't receive any call from someone else.

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As for what to expect, the functionality is quite straightforward. The Calls tab houses your log of incoming, outgoing, and missed calls. You can initiate a new call to any contact while chatting with them or browsing the list of Contacts, but if their version of WhatsApp is still not compatible, you'll get a warning. And finally, if you try to call someone who is offline at the moment, you'll hear the phone ring but no one answers and the person will be notified with a missed call the next time they are connected.

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While on a call, WhatsApp lets you switch to speakerphone mode and mute your microphone should you need that, and a notification shows up with the duration and the option to hang up. But keep in mind that there no longer is an option to place a network call to a contact when you're inside the app, so you will have to remember to head out to your phone's contact list to do so.

At this point, we're not sure if this open-to-all option is a glitch in the matrix or if calls are really live for everyone, indefinitely. We've learned from past experience that WhatsApp can disable the magic, server-side, on a whim, so if you still don't have the option available to you, you're better off downloading this version of WhatsApp as soon as possible (from APK Mirror or WhatsApp's website) and placing a call to make sure it's triggered for you.

This hopefully ends the saga of WhatsApp invite requests we have received on every social network possible, of thousands of Disqus comments with public phone numbers left for anyone to abuse that we couldn't possibly moderate anymore, and of dozens of email tips for "invites open" and "invites closed" every few days.

May work on previous versions too

We're seeing some reports of the functionality working on previous versions of WhatsApp as well, however they don't seem as consistent as with v.2.12.19. So if you still don't see the option on your phone, this latest version should be your best bet to get it working.

Alternate title: 'BOUT TIME!

  • Thanks:
  • +Artu Brunezz,
  • Hediyanto,
  • Orlando,
  • Bilal,
  • Masis Hakhverdian,
  • Suhas,
  • SSyar