Facebook-owned, cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp was reported to be working on voice over IP calling for a future update of the app set to roll out this spring. Now, leaked screenshots appear to show the feature in use on the iOS version of the app.
The screenshots, embedded in full below, from Italian Apple blog iPhoneItalia purport to show an in-call screen from WhatsApp, which sports a very similar design to Apple’s updated iOS 7.1 in-call screen for the default Phone app, with options to mute the microphone, switch to messages, turn on the speakerphone or end the call with the contact’s name and photo shown above.
Calls made using the new feature will add a colored “call in progress” bar to the display when a user switches out of WhatsApp, similar to the method employed by Apple for its own Phone app and by other VoIP apps like Skype and Line to notify the user that a call is still live. That functionality is provided by iOS APIs, though developers can modify its color and labeling.
Additionally, WhatsApp has made it easier to add a photo to a text message in the app through a new, small camera icon above the keyboard cutting out the previous multi-step process to add a photo, as seen below. A minor change, but a welcome one.
WhatsApp has yet to reveal an exact release date for the updated version of the app. It is also unclear if any other changes are in the works following Facebook’s acquisition of the social messaging app.
What do you think about WhatsApp’s new VoIP calling feature? Will you use it or do you prefer alternatives like Skype, Viber, FaceTime Audio? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter: @TodaysiPhone.