Activating voice calling in WhatsApp initially required a “hack” of sorts, as well as receiving a call from someone who already had the feature. Now it seems that the feature is openly available with the latest version of WhatsApp for Android, 2.12.19, without needing to get a call first.
Once you install or update WhatsApp to 2.12.19, you should see a Calls log tab in the top menu, while initiating a new call is as simply as tapping the “plus” button. From there, the call interface is straightforward. You can hang up, activate the speaker, mute, and switch to chat, and that’s pretty much it. Calls connect almost instantly and sound quality is crisp, without interruptions.
There’s a chance that this feature is activated server-side (so it may take a while until everyone gets it), but we received it on multiple devices, without having got a call first. Plus, tips and reports on Android forums suggest the feature is now rolling out far and wide, so it looks like the real deal.
Version 2.12.19 of WhatsApp can be downloaded from the Play Store or from WhatsApp’s website. If you opt for the latter, you will need to enable installing apps from unknown sources before installing it.
Let us know if WhatsApp calling is active for you.