Group calls in WhatsApp have become more popular during lockdown and although it looks like life might start getting back to normal soon, plenty of people still plan to meet up online as it offers many advantages over in-person meetings.
WhatsApp has been adding quite a few new features recently such as disappearing messages and the ability to play back voice messages faster. Just last week it launched a public beta allowing users to try out multi-device support where you can message from a PC, laptop or another non-phone device even if the phone your account is linked with is turned off.
Now, the Facebook-owned messaging app has improved group calling by making it possible to join a call after it starts.
No longer do you have to answer a group call the moment it begins. If you miss the call when your phone rings, you can still join a group call later on (so long as it’s still happening). The same applies if you tap Ignore when you hear your phone ring: you can change your mind and join afterwards from the calls tab.
As well as being able to join late, you can also drop off a call and re-join if you need to take care of something else, including another call.
Now, on the call info screen in WhatsApp you can see who’s on the call, as well as those who have been invited but haven’t joined.
The company is keen to point out that group calls are still end-to-end encrypted, meaning they're private: only those on the call can see and hear each other.
The new feature is starting to roll out today, so be patient if you don’t see the option on your account just yet.