WhatsApp is reportedly working on a feature to transcribe voice messages. The new feature is said to be currently in testing on the iOS version of the instant messaging app, though it may reach both Android and iPhone users over time. At present, WhatsApp doesn't provide transcription of voice messages. There are instead third-party apps on both iOS and Android that say they can transcribe the messages you receive. In a report, WhatsApp beta tracker WABetaInfo posted screenshots that show the development of voice message transcription, on at least the iOS version of the app.
What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is an instant messaging app that allows users to send text messages to each other, unlike SMS which has switched to using the iMessage service. WhatsApp uses your phone number as a verification method, which means it's not just used by your contacts but by the organisations you have to directly contact. WhatsApp also has an "end-to-end encryption" feature, which ensures that no one except for the recipient of the message can read or decrypt it. According to a report by TechCrunch, the transcription feature is currently being tested for WhatsApp's iOS version, and this feature is likely to make it to Android in future as well. When this feature is rolled out to the Android and iPhone users, the transcription may be text-to-speech based.
What's New About The Voice Message Transcription Feature?
According to the screenshots, the transcription feature will show the entire message in the transcript box. It's also possible to highlight the parts of the conversation and simply tap on the transcript button to provide the full details. The report adds that the feature seems to be currently being tested on WhatsApp iOS version 2.18.145. It may be noted that the WhatsApp users across Android and iOS have reported receiving the message templates with a transcript support for some time now, though this appears to be a testing phase. WhatsApp for iOS Separately, WhatsApp is currently testing out its Android app with an App Shortcut button on the Recent tab. This appears to be a server-side test (SST), though it might go live for some users soon.
How Does This New Feature Work?
The screenshots posted by WABetaInfo show that the new feature will allow users to dictate messages with their voice that are sent as text. As mentioned, WhatsApp currently doesn't provide transcription of voice messages. Instead, the app transcribes the voice message to text before displaying it in the chat as an audible speech. If this were not the case, you would have to type the text and then send the message. In this manner, the voice messages will appear in an intelligible text, the screenshots posted by WABetaInfo show. However, since the voice recognition feature has been enabled for the latest iOS version of the app, it appears that the voice messages will be automatically transcribed to text. As mentioned, WhatsApp is testing this feature on iOS.
Why Is This Important For Us?
There are a lot of times when you have to choose whether to simply send a quick text to a friend about an update or a funny video or a few words of advice. Using voice message transcription in WhatsApp can be quite a handy thing. The ability to have a proper chat and record a voice message in one app will surely be quite helpful for Android users who aren't on the iOS platform. WhatsApp is also testing the ability to share snippets of audio with groups. There is no word on when these features will roll out to all users. Advertisement Users who want to enable the voice message transcription feature should head to the 'status' menu on the iOS version of the app and select 'Privacy and security' section.
Voice message transcription on WhatsApp is currently in beta mode. But, if all goes well, the feature could be available for both Android and iPhone users over time. As of now, there is no word on whether this feature will also be rolled out to the users in other markets, or just India. WhatsApp for iOS users WhatsApp for iOS is currently at version 2.17.71. While you can access voice message transcribing feature in the app, it is just a test feature. As WhatsApp notes on its beta tracker page, this is a "Core Profile Feature." This means only iPhone users can access this feature at the moment. There are no screenshots in the report for those who have not upgraded to the beta version.