WhatsApp software for Mac and Windows has been around since spring 2016, but voice and video communication functions were only usable on iOS and Android mobile versions.
2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 … Five years later, after a pandemic that pushed millions of workers into telecommuting from home, WhatsApp finally updates its computer program to include the function of voice and video calls.
Owned by Facebook, the popular WhatsApp messaging service used by more than two billion users (statistics as of February 2020) around the world. As of New Year’s Day 2021, WhatsApp smashed its record for most calls in a single day, with 1.4 billion voice and video calls. Some 100 billion messages pass through WhatsApp every day.
This new feature should be of use to the millions of people who use the computer version of WhatsApp on a daily basis and who have had to use competing programs like Zoom, Skype or Facetime to make individual video calls.
Called WhatsApp Desktop, the software now allows you to make free voice and video calls with your contacts. To do this, you must use a computer running Windows 10 64-bit version 1903 or later or macOS 10.13 or better.
Of course, your system should have at least an audio output and a microphone or headphones, a camera for video calls and an active Internet connection.
But do not move away from your smartphone, because you will need it to make the call, even if the communication will not go through it. Additionally, you will need to allow WhatsApp to access your computer’s microphone and camera.
Voice and video calls are protected by encryption, writes Facebook, which adds that group calls are not supported on WhatsApp Desktop. They will be later when all the small snags are corrected.