WhatsApp for desktops has made it simple to keep the conversation going even while you’re away from your phone, or maybe you just prefer the typing experience of a full-sized keyboard (who doesn’t?). But you still have to return to your mobile device to make a video or voice call. Well, not anymore. WhatsApp is rolling out the ability to make and receive calls right on your desktop screen, starting with those on the beta version of the app.
For a year defined by videoconferencing, our smart displays have not been able to keep up as a worthy companion — mostly because the apps either aren't there or aren't very good. But there's a giant improvement due for the cross-section of Nest Hub Max owners and Google Meet users and even bigger news for those on Zoom.
We're all on our desktops for video conferences hours on end, but when it comes to hitting up all the people you need to without having to grab the phone you threw into a corner to avoid distraction, well, it's still a dilemma — especially if you use WhatsApp, where voice and video calls are still mobile-only features. But there are signs of a remedy for that need coming soon.
As part of today's Pixel 4a festivities, Google has also announced a new feature that's coming to older Pixels as well. Remember Google's Live Caption feature that transcribes speech in real-time, on-device, for things like videos? Well, Live Caption will now also work for video and voice calls — more useful than ever in these socially distant times.
The latest beta release of the Signal desktop app has picked up a feature the mobile app has had now for years: video and voice calling. Unfortunately, they're one-on-one for now, but it's already live on macOS, Windows, and Linux.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Gmail's rather obnoxious Google Meet integration began to roll out widely to users of the app today on Android, signaling that the space-wasting UI tweak is moving full steam ahead. Our devices have started receiving it, and it's just as annoying as you'd expect, eating a solid 10-20% of your Gmail inbox list UI depending on how long your display is. It's a blatant attempt to shoehorn Meet into an extremely popular Google app, as Google commits to offensive action in the videoconferencing wars.
Ever since the coronavirus pandemic struck, Zoom has been taking over the world of video conferencing. Many other companies have realized that and have started offering or improving their own video calling services — see Google Meet, Duo, Microsoft Teams, and others. Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio also wants a slice of the cake and has launched its own approach to video conferencing, JioMeet.