Nairobi News


Whatsapp to introduce desktop calls

WhatsApp has started rolling out the voice and video calling feature on the desktop app.

The messaging app says that calling will be available in both portrait and landscape orientation on the desktop app.

Throughout last year, the Facebook-owned app said it has noted a significant increase in people calling one another on WhatsApp, often for long conversations.

“With so many people still apart from their loved ones, and adjusting to new ways of working, we want conversations on WhatsApp to feel as close to in-person as possible,” read a statement from the company

“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.”

It also confirmed that similar to the mobile app, voice and video calls on the desktop app will also be end-to-end encrypted. “WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer.”

Group calls will still have to be made on mobile devices, but the Facebook-owned app has confirmed it is planning to expand its desktop offering to group calls in the future.

“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,” the statement added.

WhatsApp broke its worldwide record for voice and video calls on New Year’s Eve 2020, when 1.4 billion people used the app to speak to their loved ones.

Here is what one needs in order to place a WhatsApp audio or video call via the desktop app:

1. An audio output device and microphone for voice and video calls.

2. A camera for video calls.

3. 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.

4. 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.