WhatsApp voice calling comes to JioPhone, other KaiOS-based feature phones
Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp has joined hands with KaiOS Technologies to enable VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calling on devices running the latter's operating system. Updating to the latest version of WhatsApp on phones running KaiOS, including the JioPhone and JioPhone 2, will allow users to make WhatsApp voice calls to other users of the messaging platform. Here's everything you need to know.
Until recently, functionality was limited to only basic features
WhatsApp was reportedly introduced for devices running KaiOS back in 2018 so that the app could broaden its reach in emerging markets such as India. However, until recently, the app's functionality was limited to basic functions such as sending and receiving messages, photos, videos, contacts, and locations. Another feature widely used on WhatsApp for KaiOS is the ability to share voice messages.
Users can answer/decline WhatsApp calls like a normal call
To enable the recently added voice calling feature on WhatsApp, feature phone users would need to update WhatsApp to version 2.2110.41. Once the app is updated, users can place a WhatsApp voice call by navigating to Options > Voice call in any chat thread on the app. Users can answer and decline incoming WhatsApp voice calls just like a normal call.
WhatsApp COO Matt Idema's thoughts on the new feature
In a statement, WhatsApp COO Matt Idema said, "Bringing WhatsApp voice calls to KaiOS-enabled devices helps us connect the world privately through a service that is simple, reliable and accessible to everyone - no matter what kind of mobile device they're using."
KaiOS Technologies CEO calls the new feature a 'significant step'
"We are taking another significant step toward the goal to make essential, useful services accessible for everyone, including underserved communities, seniors looking for simple devices, and those using KaiOS devices as a companion phone," said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.
Devices must remain connected to internet for feature to work
Understandably, to make and receive VoIP calls, the device would need to be connected to cellular internet or a Wi-Fi network. Since its debut on KaiOS, WhatsApp has been preloaded on most devices. The app is claimed to be the top non-system app on KaiOS in terms of worldwide monthly active users. Gadgets360 reported that WhatsApp hasn't provided official statistics backing this claim.
Voice call feature for Windows, macOS users released in March