Yes you read the title right or you may have already used it. WhatsApp, the infamous instant messaging app, used by almost everybody, has enabled the Video Call feature for all its users since its latest update this week. The feature was only for its beta users but its now finally here for all of us. I decided to take it for a spin and following is my take on it.
It took a few days for me to get the correct update or rather for it to be enabled on mine ; And yes, I got a new mobile – finally !! 😀 Thank God! I can now test those awesome stuffs 🙂. In fact, after the news announcing the launch, I manually updated by WhatsApp but the feature was not there yet. But today. November 17, I got a Video Call and I knew it was up and running. Awesome !!
Had a class test so could not test it earlier, but when I did, it was simple awesome.
The thing is, I’ve tested several video calling apps on mobile phones, from Skype to Hangouts to the Till-then Amazing Viber !! And today, it was yet another experience. Facebook/WhatsApp for sure took some time to dive into Video Calling but they did an awesome job.
Viber vs Whatsapp
The de-facto Video Calling app for the common user till now had been Viber. It was already ahead of WhatsApp for the stickers etc but the video calling feature made us love it more. The only feature that WhatsApp lacked was the Video Call. On each and every update, I waited for it to come but new group stuffs, large emojis etc etc; that was it!
As far as the experience is concerned – we will compare with Viber for the control – The video is really good and clear resolution-wise, though had some latency issues when using Mobile Data Connection on one end and Wifi on the other but when both devices were on Data Connection – even if the connection was hare vs turtle relative to each other in speed – the connection was awesome. There’s fewer glitches compared to Viber, and – !! – should the video be interrupted for whatever reason, it will just pause, reconnect while the audio is still running and resume the video feed; for Viber, once there’s a glitch, the video is disabled and one has to manually re-enable it.
Messaging is possible during the video call, but the feed is paused; Maybe this could be a nice future update – It’s not a huge deal nowadays – with the Material framework etc – to have the video as an overlay in the lower corner of the ‘page’. Also, maybe adjusting the sender’s video window’s size could be a nice addition to the experience; screen real-estate is quite limited sometimes for example when the person on the other end has his/her face at a ‘normal’ distance from the mobile phone, here 1/8 of the face is covered with my video.
As a final word,
Well Good Job WhatsApp !! It’s been quite a wait but you nailed it especially considering that the feed are ‘more fluid’ compared to that of Viber, which is quite obvious – thinking of the massive number of servers available to WhatsApp to balance its video feeds compared to Viber.
Still; Viber is not dead, I love it soo very much and look forward to using it for long.
P.S: As i was writing this post, I got a message from a friend asking to “You are invited to try WhatsApp Video Call” Oh my… Those hoax/spams/scams/phishing stuffs don’t ever wait.. Come-on !! The top-level domain is not even from WhatsApp. Stay away from those please..
So! Till then,
Big Thanks to You for testing out the feature with me !! Thanks for being a good sport and the road towards geekiness is just getting shorter and shorter for you – IA