WhatsApp Test Runs Voice Calling Feature On More Android Users Then Halts
February 19, if you are on Android and have activated auto update on your Google Play app. Then you probably must have been alerted of the WhatsApp update of version 2.11.528. WhatsApp enabled the voice calling feature to some who updated their app to the version 2.11.528 (from Google Play store) and version 2.11.531 (from the WhatsApp website).
The few selected users could see a caller icon on their WhatsApp app and were able to make WhatsApp calls to their friends who also have the app installed. These ‘lucky’ users (test-subjects) whose WhatsApp featured the voice calling feature were able to pass on the voice call feature to their friends by simply calling; sort of an invite to WhatsApp call feature. The call feature has an interface quite similar to the typical smartphone’s contact directory and the app also keeps the call logs history.
WhatsApp has not yet made any official announcement about the call feature, and neither is there any mentioning of it on the Google Play release notes. It seems the voice calling feature is being rolled in secrecy and in phases. Currently, WhatsApp appears to be testing out its servers to see how efficiently the call feature is to be supported.
Users, who could make WhatsApp calls since February 19, can now no longer be able to do so since it appears WhatsApp has discontinued the service. The company seems to have selected a number of people on whom a dry-run was being carried out. Now WhatsApp seems to have collected notes and perhaps are working on further changes and improvements before officially launching the voice calling feature.
Android appears to be the first choice for running these tests and probably would be the priority platform for rolling out the voice calling feature. Even though iOS devices have had this feature appear in the app some time back, such reported incidences have been few, and no one has yet made a WhatsApp call on any iOS device. The call button has since disappeared on iOS devices but Android devices keep reporting numerous appearances of the feature, and now more users have it and have already made calls on it.
WhatsApp CEO, Jan Koum said that the voice calling feature will be rolled out by the Q1 of 2015. That being said, and with the test-runs the company seems to be doing, it will not be a far-fetched idea to say that the feature is just around the corner.