EE's been talking about adding WiFi calling to its list of customer conveniences since last summer, and though slightly delayed, the feature is now ready for prime time. Well, almost, as WiFi calling will officially launch on April 10th, coinciding with the release of Samsung's Galaxy S6 and S6 edge. These flagships, alongside Microsoft's Lumia 640, will be the first phones capable of using the feature, though it'll become available to a slew of compatible handsets "in the coming weeks." You may be wondering why so few devices are supported at launch, and the answer lies in how EE has implemented WiFi calling on its network. Where O2 and Three have created smartphone apps that let their customers make calls over WiFi, EE's solution is completely seamless. No intermediary app is needed, meaning you'll be able to make and receive calls and texts over WiFi as you would normally, using your phone's regular dialer and messaging app. Provided you're a pay-monthly customer, that is, since the feature's not available to pay-as-you-goers.
Vodafone recently announced it, too, is working on a WiFi calling system that users will be all but oblivious to. Seamless operation is undoubtedly more convenient, and when EE launches voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) services, supposedly in late summer, calls will be able to transition between WiFi and 4G networks without dropping. Taking a no-app approach isn't without its limitations, however. For starters, your handset must have baked-in support for WiFi calling, though plenty of devices do have the necessary internals. Furthermore, the feature will only be available to EE-issued smartphones, since the carrier needs to have a hand in your device's update cycle to communicate the necessary tweaks that enable WiFi calling. At this point, we know EE can do this for Android and Windows phones, but there's no word on Apple devices, which are all updated without carrier intervention. Since the iPhone 5s, 5c, 6 and 6 Plus all support WiFi calling, though, we'd be extremely surprised if Apple wasn't working with EE to get the feature up and running on its hardware in the near future.