WhatsApp moves closer to offering call scheduling support similar to Zoom.

WhatsApp is a widely used messaging app with billions of users globally. While it offers voice and video calling, it hasn’t been as feature-rich as dedicated calling apps like Zoom or Google Meet. Recent updates have aimed to bridge this gap, and the latest one takes another step forward. A call scheduling feature is currently under development and undergoing testing on WhatsApp.

Although WhatsApp has had basic voice and video calling for a while, it lacked some advanced features that are present in dedicated video conferencing apps. The app didn’t fully capitalize on the opportunity to become even more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic by adding comprehensive meeting features. However, a call scheduling feature was spotted in development back in February.

This functionality has reappeared in the latest WhatsApp update, version, which is now accessible via the Google Play Beta program. The new update, highlighted by WABetaInfo, provides insights into how call scheduling will work. Users will be able to schedule calls within group chats, specifying the date and time for the call. You can also set a call topic for participants to see and choose between voice or video calls.

Once set up, the call invitation can be sent as a message within the group. Attendees will be sent a reminder 15 minutes prior to the planned call, and they can join by tapping the “Join call” button within the message. There’s also a “Cancel” button for those who don’t want to attend the call. This new feature, coupled with the existing group polls feature, could streamline the process of setting a convenient time for group calls and reduce unnecessary messaging.

However, this scheduling feature won’t be available for individual conversations, as it’s generally more straightforward to call someone directly at an agreed-upon time. According to WABetaInfo, this beta feature will soon be rolled out to more testers, although there’s no official word on when it will be available for all users. Some may argue that WhatsApp is introducing these enhancements a bit late, considering the competitive landscape.

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