WhatsApp update brings huge improvement to how voice notes work

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 31 March 2022 14:00 BST
<p>WhatsApp voice notes will no longer force users to stay in the chat to listen to them on Android</p>

WhatsApp voice notes will no longer force users to stay in the chat to listen to them on Android

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WhatsApp has announced a range of changes to its app, intended to improve the experience of sending voice messages.

Voice notes have become a key way of using the app: users can send short snippets of audio, allowing them to communicate without having to type through a message. WhatsApp says users send 7 billion voice messages each day.

Now it is bringing a range of improvements, including the ability to listen to messages outside of chats, the option to pause recordings, waveforms that will show what happens in the recording, previews of voice messages before they are sent, a feature to let people pick up listening straight away, and fast playback on all messages.

Some of the changes improve existing features. WhatsApp has long allowed users to play voice messages at 1.5 or 2 times speed, for instance – but until now that has been limited to normal messages, not forwarded ones.

Others are completely new additions. Previously, for instance, users had to record a voice note all in one go and then send it straight away – but it can now be paused and picked back up again, allowing people to gather their thoughts while speaking, and they can be listened to before they are sent.

“Voice messages have made it quick and easy for people to have more expressive conversations,” WhatsApp said in its announcement. “Showing emotion or excitement through voice is more natural than text, and in many situations, voice messages are the preferred form of communication on WhatsApp.

“It’s simple for anyone to use - for your family members who prefer to avoid typing, for your friends who love to tell stories, for your peers who need encouraging words, or for when you want to hear your partner’s voice at the end of a long day.”

The new features will arrive in the “coming weeks”, WhatsApp said.

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