You can now join WhatsApp voice and video calls at any time

People who are genetically predisposed to lateness will not be punished any more

WhatsApp Desktop Calling
(Image credit: WhatsApp Official)

WhatsApp has altered voice and video calls for groups and will now allow you to join a chat at any point in time. It’s a handy feature if you’re not free at the moment the call starts, although it’s probably fair to wonder why this feature wasn’t included from the launch of the service. As you might expect, this also allows you to leave a call, then come back later if you need a few minutes to answer the door or make a cup of tea.

Within WhatsApp ongoing group calls will show slightly differently to normal messages. They’ll have either the video icon, or the audio symbol to show you that people are talking. That’s handy to make sure you don’t accidentally end up joining a call when you aren’t ready. Put a T-shirt on first, you absolute monster. 

Back in 2020 as a measure to help people stay connected during the pandemic WhatsApp introduced larger calling limits, doubling the number from four to eight. Handy for larger families or groups of friends. People spend, according to WhatsApp, 15 billion minutes per day talking and new years 2020 the company connected 1.4 billion voice and video calls. 

Of course not everything has gone well for WhatsApp recently. Its connection to social media monstrosity Facebook has brought the company some criticism. Moves to adjust the privacy agreement was poorly communicated, and no matter what the company’s intent saw users look for alternatives to WhatsApp. The company maintains that it will always encrypt messages, calls and video in the app. 

There’s also an update coming that will change the way people interact with the app itself. WhatsApp is looking to allow desktop clients for Windows and Mac access to the service even if your phone is offline. That has presented the company with technical challenges around maintaining encryption, but it looks like that single device with WhatsApp might be a thing of the past. 

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.