The desktop version of the popular messenger service WhatsApp gets new features. The variant for Windows and macOS now shines with telephony and video chats.
Smartphone features now also on PC and Mac
Until now, WhatsApp only offered the ability to make voice calls and video chats on Android and iOS. But now the service has also expanded the features of the desktop clients. From now on, the same can also be done on a Windows PC or Mac. As before, end-to-end encryption is to ensure the associated data security. The first users have already benefited from the new functions. They reported that they had successfully tried out both VoIP and video telephony. However, the expanded range of features does not yet work for all users. What exactly is causing whether the new features are available or not is unknown. Either an app update or a corresponding support of the server seems to unlock the two new options. However, it will not be long before all users can benefit from them.
The prerequisites must be in place
Away from the theoretical availability of the new features, the hardware must of course also play along. Thus, according to the answers in WhatsApp’s FAQ, they will only work if the appropriate technical requirements are met. Accordingly, voice and video calls can only be used if at least Windows 10 from 64-bit version 1903 is installed. On a Mac, at least macOS version 10.13 must be available. Of course, you also need headphones, speakers, a microphone and a camera. These items must be given access through the messaging app. Apart from that, you need an active Internet connection from the PC and smartphone. According to WhatsApp, the smartphone is not needed for the call itself. Nevertheless, it is used by the desktop client to establish a connection for the call.
For the time being, no group calls
But in one point, the app for Android and iOS is still ahead. WhatsApp via desktop client, for example, is only supposed to enable one-on-one calls. Voice and video calls with more than two participants are not (yet) supported. This is also stated in the FAQs. We do not yet know if and when an upgrade will be available. However, this can be assumed. After all, WhatsApp would otherwise miss out on great opportunities in times of increasing video conferencing. Apart from voice and video telephony on the computer, WhatsApp wants to establish other new features. For example, it should soon be possible to use an account on several different devices at the same time. The company is already in the process of testing this feature internally. However, it is not yet known whether the idea will ultimately be put into practice. Furthermore, self-deleting photos and an import of stickers are being planned.