WhatsApp Rolling out Video Calls on Android; Should Google Duo be Worried?
As more and more chat services become increasingly relevant to the users, the maker of WhatsApp have started launching some interesting new services on its chat platform. The most famous chat app on Android, WhatsApp is facing the heat from the likes of Facebook Messenger and Google Allo & Duo.
After nearly six months of speculations and beta testing previews, WhatsApp has started rolling out video calls to its Android users. The latest update from the company on Google Play Store will bring the video calling feature on the app. Unfortunately this update has not been made to iOS users yet and there is no specific timeline.
The last update from WhatsApp brought newly designed emojis, which did not go down well with users, and the ability to send GIFs and edit photos before sending. WhatsApp has been releasing a slew of updates this year to match up to its competitors.
The report by Android Police states, “You won’t need an app update as long as you’re on one of the recent beta versions (people are reporting success on a few builds). If the person on the other end doesn’t have video calling enabled yet they’ll just get a voice call. You’ll still be able to see the video calling UI, though. The call log shows that as a video call, but tapping the video button just pulls up an error message.”
Since iOS users will not be getting the update anytime soon, cross platform calls will be an issue. However, WhatsApp will definitely make that priority and roll out video calling for iOS devices.
How to check if you have this feature?
Make sure your WhatsApp has been updated with the latest release. If not, update it to the latest version, although this specific update will be received in some time, if not now.
On pressing the call button, you will be prompted with two options – a regular voice call or a video call. Pressing on either of the buttons will connect you to the other person. The users who tested WhatsApp video call report that in case the other person does not have the video calling feature, the app will revert to voice calling.
The UI of the video call seems quite simple, with a red call disconnect button in the middle along with a camera reverse and a mute button on the either sides. However, it is still not known if the video call feature is good and comparable to that of other chat apps.
A quick demo of How to make WhatsApp Video call (Bad audio)
Should Google Duo be worried?
Absolutely. With over 1 billion users, WhatsApp has a partial monopoly in the market and this feature will quickly snatch all the Google Duo users. Google Allo could still boast of chat assistant and AI, but Duo is a completely simplistic video call app between two individuals.
The only interesting feature of Duo is the knock knock feature, which if adopted by WhatsApp, could totally destroy Duo. Voice and video calls in one application are enough for users to stick to that application, instead of venturing out into other similar apps.
However, one thing that still doesn’t fit is why WhatsApp is taking so much time to get video calling to its customers. In developing nations specifically, WhatsApp is the easiest mode of communication and this video call feature should have been added long back. Also, it is cross platform, which makes it easier for Android users to connect with iOS users.
Nevertheless, Duo’s popularity could go down in the coming months. We will wait to test the video call feature on WhatsApp, and will keep you posted as soon as WhatsApp launches video calling officially.