Back in December, we reported some WhatsApp beta users got the option to place voice and video calls using their desktop client. While these features were still in testing, they've now been officialized by the company and have started rolling out to all users.
Using WhatsApp on your computer makes interacting with friends, family, and sometimes colleagues much more convenient, as you don't have to reach for your phone to text people and can enjoy a full-sized keyboard to write messages. Sadly, the desktop client was limited to messages and couldn't handle voice and video calls until now.
After testing the feature since December with beta users, WhatsApp is now rolling it out to all users, allowing them to call people from their computers without having to touch their phones. Both voice and video calls are supported. These appear in a resizable standalone window that's always on top, allowing you to continue working while on a call.
Sometimes you just need a little more space. Secure and reliable, end-to-end encrypted voice and video calls are now available on our desktop app. Download now: https://t.co/JCc3rUunoU pic.twitter.com/PgCl76Mn7U
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) March 4, 2021
As with WhatsApp messages, calls are end-to-end encrypted to protect your privacy. Sadly, only one-to-one calls are available so far, but the company says it will expand it to include group calls in the future, probably after making sure it works reliably.
WhatsApp says the feature is already available on macOS and Windows desktop clients, but we haven't been able to try it out yet, despite having the latest version on our computers. It will most likely be available in the coming days, as the company has officially announced its availability. It's unclear whether calls will also be supported through WhatsApp Web, which would make it easier to place calls from any device, without the need to install a client locally.