Like anything in an open market, competition allows for changes to be made rapidly in a market space. Recently many chat applications have been adding VOIP calling as a standard feature. Apps like Google Hangouts, WeChat, and Viber allow, mostly, free calls to users over the internet. Recently the team at WhatsApp has entered the fray. According to Reddit user Pradnesh07, this feature was enabled on his device by someone else calling him. Click here to check out a video of screenshots he took of VOIP enabled in WhatsApp. In short, a user with the VOIP feature enabled called Pradnesh07 lighting it up for him. Reportedly, this feature will work on any Android device with WhatsApp build number 2.11.508. Right now, due to its lack of presence in Google Play, side-loading the app is the only option for installation.
The video released by Pradnesh07 shows clearly that the app is segmented into three parts: calls, chats, and contacts. All the standard internet phone features are there like speakerphone, instant messaging, and mute. You can even send IMs while in a call. Since this is a huge feature not officially released by the team at WhatsApp, it seem like it has rolled out to a small group of test users.
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Many users have been anticipating WhatsApp to finally bring voice calling to its application sometime in 2015, and it looks like the feature is beginning to roll out to some users. The calling, like WhatsApp messaging, uses an internet connection to place a phone call instead of relying exclusively on a carrier’s network to handle the call.
The updated calling interface isn’t available to everyone, but according to some Reddit users, if you already have the update you can get another person in on the voice calling action by placing a call to them, forcing the interface update. WhatsApp hasn’t made anything official just yet, so this is all pure speculation and trial and error.
Regardless, if you’ve been wanting voice calling through the app, you shouldn’t have to wait too much longer. If some users are seeing it, we can probably expect a massive launch for everyone in the near future.
Come comment on this article: Voice calling finally starting to appear for some WhatsApp users
When Verizon launched its “Advanced Calling 1.0″ feature earlier this month (read: voice over LTE), it only worked with two phones: The Samsung Galaxy S5 and the LG G2. Now the company can add the iPhone to that list, well, at least the iPhone 6. Verizon customers who upgraded to Cupertino’s latest handset are reporting that VoLTE is working on both the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. A user on the MacRumors forum said he had to activate the feature in his phone’s cellular menu first, but afterwards was able to make calls freely. It’s also notable that he called a landline — previously, the feature was only said to work between compatible Verizon phones. Is it working for you? Fire up your new handset (if you’re into that brand), and let us know in the comments.
Google Voice has only had a limited tie-in with Hangouts so far, but it now looks like the two are coming together in earnest. Android Police notes that you can now set up Hangouts to receive Google Voice text messages and voicemail, whether you’re on mobile or the desktop. Switch on the feature and you won’t have to jump between apps to deal with conversations based on where they came from. You may not want to migrate just yet, though — replies aren’t working perfectly at the moment, and it otherwise appears that Google flicked the switch a little early. There should be a Hangouts update soon, though, so those glitches might not stick around for much longer.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo]
Via: The Next Web
Source: Android Police
Internet calling is what Viber’s mostly known for these days, although the Rakuten-owned service does invest heavily in the messaging side of things, too. Hold & Talk (aka push-to-talk), for example, allows Viber users to send quick voice messages to each other, with the touch of a button. And now, nearly eight months after it came to iOS and Android, the feature is ready to grace Windows Phone 8 handsets. This means contacts can communicate between themselves almost instantly, in a Snapchat-like way but with voice messages rather than pictures. Viber also made some design changes to the application, which brings the looks of it more in line with Microsoft’s desired guidelines after that WP 8.1 software refresh. Your move, Skype.
The rumor is that eventually we’re going to see Google Voice merged completely into Hangouts, and that’s getting even closer to becoming reality. You can now make phone calls via Hangouts directly from the Google Voice website, no Google+ necessary. As Mountain View’s Alex Wiesen notes on G+, the new feature is listed as an option in the “phone to call with” drop-down box. It seems a bit minor, sure, especially when you consider that Hangouts is already how you make phone calls from within Gmail — but any updates for the oft-neglected service are welcome, right?
Source: Alex Wiesen (Google+)
Mobile dead spots can be a right headache, whether you get them at home, at work or a place you visit often. Luckily, EE and Three may soon be able to help. Earlier today, the two operators confirmed they’re going to let customers make high-quality calls and send text messages, even when there’s only a WiFi connection available. The good news is that if you’re an EE customer, you won’t notice a thing, even though the company is exercising its technological prowess silently in the background.
It works like this: once you connect your smartphone to WiFi, EE immediately hands off communication from its voice network to the broadband provider. Incoming/outgoing calls or texts are then broken down into packet data and routed back to EE’s core network, completing the circuit. Because EE utilises tech (IP Multimedia Subsystem or IMS if you’re interested) already supported by many of the latest smartphones, calls are automatically encrypted and can’t be eavesdropped upon by a public WiFi provider. You won’t need to launch an app or tweak settings on your phone either, as calls can be made through the phone’s native dialler and will be deducted from your allowance accordingly.
Three, on the other hand, plans to do things a little differently. In “early August,” the operator will launch Three inTouch, which operates much in the same way as EE (offering calls and texts over a WiFi connection). However, like O2′s TU Go, Three’s service requires the use of an app.
EE also revealed that it’ll soon start enabling VoLTE services, expanding its high-definition voice service across its networks and extending coverage to rural areas that had previously been unconnected. In regards to its WiFi plans, EE tells us that it has already tested the service on a Samsung Note 3, which was enabled by a simple over-the-air firmware upgrade sent by the carrier. Ahead of its autumn launch, the provider says it intends to test “hundreds” of public WiFi services to ensure they are capable of delivering “high-quality” calls. If they are unable to, EE says it will simply not allow customers to use them.
While it’s easy to call a store if you find it through a Google search on your phone, it’s a bit more of a hassle on your computer — you frequently have to copy the number into your voice app of choice. However, Google is removing even that minor inconvenience. The company’s search results now include a Hangouts calling option that gets you in touch with any location right through your desktop web browser; if you see a big set of digits, one click will start the conversation. As with Google’s other internet calling services, you can reach out to any American or Canadian number for free. This isn’t the biggest time-saver in the world, to be sure, but you may appreciate it the next time you’re phoning in a reservation at your favorite eatery.
Source: Mayur Kamat (Google+)
There’s no doubt that people have a common interest in emojis and stickers, so Viber knows how important it is to keep that market content. With that in mind, the service is now getting a revamped version of its desktop calling/messaging app, featuring a much more accessible way to find stickers than in previous versions. You can now search for those colorful (and mood-telling) stickers in a quicker way within the application, as well as have them docked as a menu right alongside your conversations. Viber also revealed that there are now over 100 million users on the platform, which is a pretty good number if it wants to keep up with the big players in the game — hey, Skype, Viber’s looking at you.
Skype has been lavishing attention on its Android and Windows Phone messaging apps as of late, but it’s now time for the iPhone client to get a makeover — and it’s one of the company’s biggest overhauls in recent memory. The new software brings a much fresher-looking interface that’s both in step with other platforms (chiefly Windows Phone) and lets you accomplish many common tasks faster. You can now start group chats right from the hub, and you don’t have to wait until someone hops online to send a message.
There are a lot of subtler tweaks that should go a long way toward improving the experience, too. The app’s overall performance is up to five times faster, and it’s much better at syncing message statuses as you move from device to device. So what’s the catch? Simply put, the app isn’t ready yet; Skype is launching the new iPhone version in about a week. Until it’s available, you’ll just have to make do with the teaser video below.