How to call on a Facebook Portal device using voice commands, WhatsApp contacts, and more

How to call on a Facebook Portal device using voice commands, WhatsApp contacts, and more
You can use voice commands, call WhatsApp contacts, and more with your Portal device.Smith Collection/Gado / Contributor/Getty Images
  • Facebook's Portal devices let you video call friends, family, and co-workers using your linked Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp contact lists.
  • You can make calls on a Facebook Portal device using the touch screen or through a series of simple voice commands.
  • If you're a WhatsApp user using Portal, you can set the app as your default call provider.

Like a Kindle is to book reading, the Portal is to video chatting — a tool elegantly, uniquely equipped for the task.

Whether it's the holiday season or you're working (and learning) from home, having an easy way to communicate while miles apart is important. Facebook's Portal makes that simpler than ever through its series of video-calling tools.

While Portal might seem a tad intimidating, you're likely already familiar with its technology and video-conferencing tools, including the standard call feature.
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Here's a rundown of what you need to know to make a call from a Portal device.

Who you can call with a Facebook Portal

Portal allows you to make and receive calls with both Facebook friends and WhatsApp contacts. Facebook Messenger contacts without Facebook accounts are, however, excluded.

On the receiving end, your call from Portal can reach other Portal devices. It also covers mobile devices using Facebook Messenger, including the mobile app, messenger.com, or facebook.com.
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Portal calling also covers WhatsApp users with the app installed on their mobile phones for those who linked their account. If you can't reach a WhatsApp contact, it may be because they don't have WhatsApp open or in standby mode.

How to make a call with a Facebook Portal touchscreen

1. Tap the Portal's screen to exit picture frame mode. Or, tap the Home button at the top of the screen if you have an app open. 2. Open the Contacts app from the Portal's main screen.
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3. Tap the name you'd like to call.

How to answer or end a call on a Facebook Portal

How to call on a Facebook Portal device using voice commands, WhatsApp contacts, and more
This is what receiving a Portal call from a Facebook contact will look like.Emma Witman/Business Insider
1. If you're receiving a call, tap the "Answer" icon to connect.

2. To end a call, first tap your Portal screen to reveal the call menu.

3. Next, hit "End."
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How to make a call with the "Hey Portal" function

If your Facebook account is linked, you can use voice commands to initiate a call with the words "Hey Portal." If you have both a Facebook and WhatsApp account connected to your device, Hey Portal commands will default to Messenger contacts. You can also change your preferences to make WhatsApp the Default Call Provider.

Here's a list you can use for hands-free calling.

To make a call: "Hey Portal, call (name of contact)."
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To make a call to a WhatsApp contact: "Hey Portal, call (name of contact name) on WhatsApp."

To answer a call: "Hey Portal, answer."

To end a call: "Hey Portal, hang up."
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How to make WhatsApp your Default Call Provider

How to call on a Facebook Portal device using voice commands, WhatsApp contacts, and more
Your Portal will default to picture mode when not in use. You can customize a slideshow to appear in the frame.Emma Witman/Business Insider

1. Tap the Portal's screen to exit picture frame mode and access apps. Or, if an app is open, tap the Home button at the top of the screen.

2. Open the Settings app. 3. Under "General," locate the category "Call Settings."
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4. Now tap "Default Call Provider."

5. Enable "Use WhatsApp as the Default Calling Provider."

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