See that call tab in WhatsApp? You can finally make free calls with it

Well, as long as you don't bust your data limit while you use this new voice calling feature

Using WhatsApp on an Android device? Here's some really, really good news - you can start making calls on the instant messaging app right now.

Android users who’ve updated to the latest version of WhatsApp would have noticed a slight change in the user interface. Other than the usual chats and contacts tab, you’ll see a third tab - Calls.

Obviously, this is the long-awaited call feature that’s now integrated with the app. Like other instant messaging apps, the call function works once you send a voice call invite to another WhatsApp user.

But once again, it seems like WhatsApp is limiting this highly sought after feature. For now, we think. We’ve tested this out on an Android device and noticed that only fellow Android users can receive a WhatsApp call. So don’t try calling an iOS user, you’ll never find them in your call list.

Since WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook, it has been aggressively introducing new features to ease up the user experience. One of the most welcomed change was the ability to bring your chats to the web. Just so that it looks like you’re fervently working when you’re actually discussing what’s for lunch with your colleagues. The said web feature, however, is only applicable if you’re using Google’s Chrome web browser.

Like the voice call feature, iOS users get no love for the WhatsApp web version too. At least for now, according to WhatsApp. So cross your fingers and hope that Apple and Facebook are working on not just WhatsApp web, but also the call function for iOS.

Word of caution - there’s no free lunch. Like its chat service, the voice call function will require a data connection. Watch your data quota for the month, and to be absolutely safe, use this only when you’re on a Wi-Fi network. Not fun if you drop off a Wi-Fi network and you're surviving on a measly 300MB for the rest of the month

No WhatsApp yet?

There's a chance that your Android device might not have updated to the latest version of WhatsApp. If that's the case, there's still a way to get that feature right now.

  • Go to WhatsApp website and download the APK file.
  • Enable Unknown Sources in your Security settings. You can find it via Settings > Security > Unknown sources
  • Now, if you know someone who has the voice calling feature, get him or her to call you on WhatsApp.
  • Answer the call, and voila! You'll see three tabs in the UI - calls, chats and contacts. It's time to yak on WhatsApp!