Calls on Session: How to opt-in

December 20, 2021 / Alex LintonAnnouncement

Calls on Session: How to opt-in

The cocoa is brewing and the tinsel is sparkling — our crew is gearing up for our end of year break. But after everything you’ve done for us this year—supporting us, helping out, and retweeting our Tweets—we’ve gotta get our beloved community a present before we rest up. We know there’s one important item on every Session user’s wishlist this holiday season, and that’s exactly what we’ve got — voice and video calls (sort of). 

Today we’re dropping a closed beta release with voice and video call functionality. The full release will roll out early next year, but in the meantime anyone can try it out now on Android, Desktop, and iOS! 

Details about the closed beta

The closed beta will be a closed system — meaning that you can only call other people who have opted in to the closed beta program. If your friends are still on the main release track for Session, you won’t be able to call them just yet. 

Once you have opted-in, you will still need to enable calls in your app settings in order to receive calls. 

In order to prevent spam and protect people’s privacy — you can only call people in your contacts list. This means you must be in a conversation where both chat partners have sent a message before anyone can start a call (even if both chat partners have opted-in to the beta program and turned on calls in their app settings). 

If these conditions are not met, your chat partner will not receive your call. 

How to opt-in to the closed beta

Note: this release includes peer-to-peer calls. Onion-routed calls will be released in future once Lokinet integration is completed. 

Android

To join the beta on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Join the Google group for the closed testing track: https://groups.google.com/g/session-testers

  2. Make sure you have Session installed on your device

  3. Navigate to the Session page on the Play Store

  4. Under “Join the beta,” tap Join and then Join

  5. You can also join from the web, if you are signed into your Google account in the browser, at this web page

Note: if ‘Join the beta’ section does not appear, try restarting the Play Store application

or  

Download and install the pre-release APK here.

iOS

To join the beta on iOS, follow these steps:

  1. Install TestFlight on your device

  2. Opt-in to testing our beta release here

  3. Tap Install or Update

or 

Download and sideload the pre-release IPA here.

Desktop

To join the beta on desktop, simply download the relevant executable file from the prerelease here.

How to enable calls

Android

After you’ve opted in for the closed beta, follow these steps to enable calls on your device: 

  1. Open your app settings by tapping on your profile picture in the top left corner

  2. Tap Privacy

  3. Enable the Voice and video calls option at the bottom of the menu

iOS

After you’ve opted in for the closed beta, follow these steps to enable calls on your device: 

  1. Open your app settings by tapping on your profile picture in the top left corner

  2. Tap Privacy

  3. Enable the Voice and video calls option at the bottom of the menu

Desktop

  1. Open settings by pressing the cog on the left of the screen

  2. Tap privacy 

  3. Toggle the Voice and video calls switch

Get chatting!

Remember, this is a beta release — so there might be some growing pains. But that’s what a beta is for after all! If you encounter any unexpected bugs or behaviors, report them on our GitHub (Desktop; iOS; Android) or contact us directly at [email protected] to let us know. By participating in the beta, you’re helping us make Session better and setting us up to grow more than ever in 2022!

Join the movement to keep the internet private!

Chat with like-minded individuals in the Session Open Group Channel.

Friends don’t let friends use compromised messengers.

Sign up to the mailing list and start taking action!