27 Nov 2018
WhatsApp is changing the way you make group calls
Finally, WhatsApp is bringing a long-awaited fix for its group calling capabilities.
The messaging platform is adding a dedicated button, which would let users start an audio/video call in a group, immediately.
The changes mark a major improvement over the current calling process and are being rolled out with the latest beta version of WhatsApp for iOS.
WhatsApp's current group calling process is a mess
WhatsApp introduced group calling a while back, but the feature has been pretty difficult - not to mention annoying - to use.
It doesn't allow users to start a direct group call by pre-selecting the participants.
Meaning, they first have to start a call with one participant and then add others from the 'Add Participant' button on the top right corner.
Now, a dedicated button is on its way
WhatsApp is introducing minor UI changes and a dedicated group calling button into its iOS app, tipster WABetaInfo reported.
It will be integrated into WhatsApp groups, which would enable the user to start a direct audio/video call with the members.
However, it is important to note that only those members who are in your contacts will appear for group calling, not every member.
How to make group calls via new button?
Open any WhatsApp group and tap on the 'call' icon on the upper-right side.
This will open a sheet, where you'll have to mark and add participants.
You won't be able to add more than three participants as WhatsApp limits group calling to a maximum of four people.
Once the participants are selected, hitting the 'audio' or 'video' icon will start the new call.
Note: Only WhatsApp's iOS beta users can try this
As of now, only those having WhatsApp's latest iOS beta version (v126.96.36.199) can try this feature out.
A roll-out for all iOS users is imminent, but if you're on Android, there's no guarantee when or if this feature will come.
WABetaInfo claims that it will come on Android, but has not given a specific timeline.
Other bug fixes are also coming
Apart from the group call button, this beta has also fixed a number of bugs, including GIF playback issues, unintentional haptic feedback on opening chats, and problems while downloading and sending stickers.