WhatsApp users will soon be able to make free calls from within the iOS version of the app.
The messaging service’s iPhone update, which is available now, will eventually bring voice calling features to the Facebook-owned platform in the near future, according to the company.
The app’s calling features will rely on a Wi-Fi or data connection and won’t use carrier minutes. This is particularly significant given the app’s prevalence in Europe, where many users already rely on WhatsApp more than tradition SMS. The addition of free voice calls make the service even more powerful; users can now chat with international acquaintances without extra charges.
Although the update is live in the App Store now,WhatsApp says the calling feature will be “rolling out slowly over the next several weeks.”
Tuesday’s update also makes it easier to share photos and videos through the app. Chats now have a “quick camera” button, which allows you to shoot and send photos and videos from within WhatsApp messages. In addition, you can crop or rotate photos and videos before you send them.
WhatsApp also now comes with its own sharing extension, so you send content — like links, photos and videos — from within other apps directly to WhatsApp. As with other sharing extensions, you can enable it through through the share menu in Safari, Photos or other apps by tapping “more” and selecting Whatsapp.
The iOS update follows a similar update on Android, which officially rolled out voice calling last month.
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