WhatsApp brings group calls to improved Mac app

WhatsApp has updated its Mac app with a subtle redesign and the addition of group calling features (WhatsApp)
WhatsApp has updated its Mac app with a subtle redesign and the addition of group calling features (WhatsApp)

WhatsApp’s desktop apps are a great way to keep on top of your messages without constantly scanning your phone.

Although they get the basics right, owner Meta has been trying to update them to add some key features.

After introducing group calling to WhatsApp for Windows in March, it’s now bringing the same functionality to Mac.

That means you’ll be able to get up to eight people together for a video chat or a full house of 32 for a chaotic audio call. Meta says these interactions will be end-to-end encrypted, just like normal WhatsApp chats on your phone.

Plus, you can join a group call after it’s started, see your call history, and choose to receive incoming call notifications even when the app is closed.

More broadly, Meta has given the app a new lick of paint that brings the design closer to the mobile version. A new “calls” tab in the updated app is where you can make individual and group calls.

You can now also share files by dragging and dropping them into a chat, and view more of your chat history. For now, you can only access the update by downloading it directly from WhatsApp’s website. An App Store version is coming soon, Meta said.

WhatsApp has recently introduced improvements to help people communicate in groups. Earlier this month, it allowed users to share their screen during video calls, a feature that is ubiquitous on work-conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

Just last week, WhatsApp began creating names for groups that users haven’t named in a bid to make them easier to set up. Instead of thinking of something original, and possibly inappropriate, the new title is based on the names of the people in the group.

In June, WhatsApp announced newsfeed-style Communities that allow businesses and organisations to update their followers.