WhatsApp Facebook Acquisition and New Calling Features

December 29, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

Whatsapp, a mobile app that lets you send free texts and media messages with your data plan or Wi-Fi without the annoyances of ads, has millions of avid users all around the world. There are more than 450 million active users, 70 percent of which are active daily. There are plenty of people trying to use it on the PC too. Though there are no official PC versions, they’ve announced that it’s in the works. For now, there are guides and workarounds like this one in English and Whatsapp para PC in Spanish. It’s become so popular that Facebook is buying it for around $16 billion.

There are two different versions of Whatsapp that are normally available to download. One can be found on the Google Play store and another can be found on their official website. From past releases, we know that the one on their site is usually the one that rolls out new features first. Once they test and verify that everything is working as planned, only then do they roll out the new features through the Google Play Store.

A few days ago there was a new version released on their site that seems to be monitoring how much data you’re using for calls. This is just another reason why so many believe that it will likely make this feature (calling) available in a new release sometime soon. It hasn’t been officially announced, but that’s the word on the street. And according to DigitalTrends, AndroidWorld’s Sander Tuit has just created rendered images that show how the new release will look, basing the renders off of hidden code deep inside the latest release.

Security in Whatsapp Calling

There was a huge fiasco over the security of the Whatsapp app not long ago, which led to them enabling end-to-end encryption. They also announced that it should soon be enabled for both the iOS version and for group chats. It encrypts messages locally. Not even Skype or Google Hangout has moved to this more secure encryption. Before that, they were simply using HTTPS channel encryption, which just wasn’t secure enough.

But there’s been no official announcement on whether the new calling feature will include the same level of privacy and security. Hopefully they’ll work with Open WhisperSystems again to offer RedPhone’s end-to-end encryption security for the calls.

*image credit: AndroidWorld.nl