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Watch your back, Skype - video calling may be heading to WhatsApp

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FaceTime, Skype and Facebook Messenger mean it has been easy to video stream conversations with your phone for quite some time. But one of the most popular messaging apps, WhatsApp, has been missing the feature.

But according to German website Macerkopf, the next version of the iOS app will bring in a video calling feature, which will later roll out to Android devices.

You'll be able to make and receive video calls over Wi-Fi as well as 3G and 4G. You'll then be able to switch between both the front and rear-facing cameras.

About time

WhatsApp will also soon add chat head tabs - meaning you can switch between conversations more easily, much like Facebook Messenger – but it's not clear if it will come in the same update as video calling.

Along with a fresh green paint job, the update is expected to hit the App Store in build 2.12.16.2. We're currently on update 2.12.12, but we expect it to land in the coming weeks.

The Android version likely take a bit longer to come out, however, and there's no word on which build will see the new features first.

Facebook owning WhatsApp means none of this is a huge surprise. But these steps make WhatsApp even stronger and a real competitor to the likes of Skype and even Apple's FaceTime application.

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He's currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone.