Soon after it was acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum announced that that the company planned to introduce a new feature for iOS and Android users that would allow them to make voice calls from within WhatsApp.
This feature was due to arrive in Q2 of this year. Now that we’re well into Q4, Koum has confirmed what we already knew: voice calling for WhatsApp has been delayed. Speaking during Recode’s Code/Mobile conference, the CEO revealed that the new projected launch date for voice calling is the first quarter of 2015.
Fierce Wireless quotes Koum as saying the delay is due to multiple technical issues. He noted that the company is still trying to figure out the feature’s usability in areas of poor service (an issue that will be especially prominent in developing markets where 2G networks are in widespread use). On a more basic level, WhatsApp doesn’t have access to specific device mics that take care of noise cancelation.
Back in February, WhatsApp noted that voice calling will arrive on Android and iOS first and will then roll out to select Nokia and BlackBerry phones at a later stage. No word on when Windows Phone users can expect to get in on the action. There’s always Skype for mobile, I guess.