iPhones get free Whatsapp calls too

Note on the iTunes indicates feature may not be available across all iPhones immediately but would be rolled out in phased manner. (File)

iPhone users across the globe - who envied their Android counterparts over free WhatsApp calls - finally have good news.

Hours ago, more than a month after it rolled out VoiP call features on its Android, BlackBerry and Windows enabled apps, iPhones got a similar update with several other features including new sharing extensions.

The service is not available in the UAE under its VoIP policy.

A note on the iTunes indicates the feature may not be available across all iPhones immediately but would be rolled out in a phased manner.

“Call your friends and family using WhatsApp for free, even if they’re in another country. WhatsApp calls use your phone’s Internet connection rather than your cellular plan’s voice minutes. Data charges may apply. Note: WhatsApp Calling is rolling out slowly over the next several weeks,” the note said.

The advantage for iPhone users however is that they can now choose between Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp for making VoIP calls. iPhones sold in the UAE come without the Facetime app.

WhatsApp introduced VoiP features on Android and BlackBerry last month well over a year after its CEO Jan Koum initially made the announcement.

Among the other updates on the iPhone include iOS 8 share extension which enables users to share photos, videos, and links right to WhatsApp from other apps.

It also introduces a quick camera button in chats where you can use the camera app to capture photos and videos right from WhatsApp.

The update also enables iPhone users to edit contacts from WhatsApp and send multiple videos at once and even crop and rotate them.

Most of these features are already on most Android phones. Android users will soon also be able to backup and restore their chats using Google Drive.

According to reports, a new update will enable photos using Google Drive. The feature does not allow video backup yet.

The update is part of the latest version 2.12.45

Meanwhile, the introduction of new features has already increased WhatsApp registered user base to about 800 million and is expected to cross 1 billion well before the end of the year.

Koum made the announcement on his Facebook last week and even emphasized that the number was that of registered users.

“WhatsApp - now serving 800,000,000 monthly active users. Reminder for the press out there: active and registered users are not the same thing,” his note said followed by a smiley.

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