WhatsApp voice and video calls now available on desktop

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In the world of remote working making use of applications like WhatsApp for desktop means less time switching between screens when messages come in. Now Facebook, which owns WhatsApp, is finally making a much-needed feature available on the desktop version of the platform, as voice and video calls can now be accessed by all users on Windows 10 or macOS machines.

With videoconferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams flourished last year during lockdown, now WhatsApp is wanting to get in on the action with its own offering, but there are some limitations for now.

This as the voice and video calls are one-to-one for now, as WhatsApp says it wants to perfect the system and experience on desktop before it expands functionality. The company adds that all video calls are encrypted end-to-end, much like chats are on the platform, which has clearly been highlighted in order to win back some good will following the mass exodus earlier in the year.

“Voice and video calls on WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted, so WhatsApp can’t hear or see them, whether you call from your phone or your computer,” it explained in a blog post.

“We’re starting with one-to-one calls on the WhatsApp desktop app so we make sure we can give you a reliable and high-quality experience. We will be expanding this feature to include group voice and video calls in the future,” it adds.

Should the feature prove popular, and we don’t see any reason why it would not, we should see more functionality added in the coming months, with group video calls likely the next step.

“We hope people enjoy private and secure desktop calling with their friends and families,” the blog concludes.

You can download the Windows 10 or macOS versions of the desktop app here.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.