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Sunday, December 04, 2016

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Everything you need to know about WhatsApp Video Calling

Oyetoke Tobi - Sunday, December 04, 2016

Do you know that you can now video call on WhatsApp?WhatsApp now has more than a billion users in the world, and is one of the fastest growing instant messengers/social networks. WhatsApp is basically an instant messenger, however the new features added to it make more powerful.

The company added the WhatsApp voice calling feature which enables users to make phone calls over the internet last year. However, the new feature added to WhatsApp this year is WhatsApp video calling. It was actually a beta feature until last month, so it’s now officially released for everyone using the platforms.

What you need to Know About WhatsApp Video Calls feature

First of all, what is Video Calling?

Well, Video calling is precisely what it sounds like because the name says it all. It’s just you “calling” a friend with WhatsApp, and both of you will be able to see each other on your smartphone screens. It’s just like what Skype has been offering for years.

The WhatsApp video calling features works on major mobile platforms i.e. the three major mobile operating systems: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. So this makes WhatsApp one of the best smartphone apps for free cross-platform video calls.

The Video call is basically free, in the sense that WhatsApp won’t be charging you any money to make the video call. However, it is video call, so it needs a stable internet, i.e. it will be using the data from your phone’s data plan. 

In case you are using WhatsApp Call over a Wi-Fi connection, your phone’s network carrier (e.g. AT&T) won’t be charging you anything. And also you can now check how much data WhatsApp has used on your Smartphone.

Old users will need to update their app to the latest version, while new users will have to download the latest version also. The feature is now available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. This shows that WhatsApp is completely free.

WhatsApp’s video calls are basically part of the voice calls feature. Carrying out a video call is very simple. Just select the contact you want to talk to, tap the phone icon next to their name, and then select “Video Call” from the pop up dialog. 

The receipient of the video call can either answer or reject the video call request. So if they answer, then you’re ready to go.

WhatsApp video calling feature uses the front camera of your phone by deault. But you can always switch this to the back camera at any point with just a tap on the screen. 
You can also mute the microphone, so that the person you are video calling with will be able to see you but not hear you. You can use your phone’s volume buttons to mute the audio from the speakers.

WhatsApp Video Calling Has Good Internet Speeds

WhatsApp does not take on any internet speed whenever you make a video call. All it does is to calculate your speed each connection, and regulate the video quality accordingly. So this makes a notable disparity in how good the video looks.

We tried using WhatsApp Video Calling feature on 4G, 3G, and 2G networks, and it worked well on all three. However, the 2G network’s video quality was poor due to slow connection and pixellated. But it was still smooth enough for you see what was happening on the screen. 

You can use Multi-tasking feature on it

One of the features integrated to WhatsApp’s video calls is the multi-tasking feature. Almost all smartphone video calls oblige you to run the video call only at once. So you can’t multi-task on most video calls. But, WhatsApp has now made that possible and there is no such thing. You can be video calling as well as replying to a chat message.

Just tap the “Message” button to check new messages someone has sent to you on WhatsApp and you can even reply to them. So to resume your video calling session, just tap the green bar at the top side of the app.

How Much Data Does Video Calling Use?

WhatsApp’s video call feature aim is to make the video call look good and presentable. So the video will always be in a good and higher quality and that result in high data usage. In case you’re not using Wi-Fi, then this can quickly consume your data through cellular data caps.

Approximately, after some experiment, we realize a minute’s video call will use 5 MB of data on 4G, 3.75 MB on 3G, and 3 MB on 2G. Well, this isn’t bad at all, and infact much less than what we expected initially. 

WhatsApp’s call settings have an option you can use to cut down the data used on voice calls. So in case you think data usage is too much, you can use this option to reduce the video call data usage. 



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