WhatsApp may soon be able to transcribe voice messages
WhatsApp’s voice messaging feature is quite handy when you don’t feel like typing. While voice messages are convenient for senders, they can be a bit annoying for receivers. For one, they’re not as discreet as text messages. Secondly, voice messaging isn’t the best communication medium if you’re in a meeting or in public. To make voice messages more accessible and convenient, WhatsApp is reportedly working on a voice message transcription feature.
According to WABetainfo, the in-development voice message transcription feature will allow WhatsApp users to transcribe voice messages sent by other users on the go using speech recognition technology. The feature will be optional and require special permission on iOS.
The following notification will be shown when the user tries to access the feature for the first time:
“WhatsApp” Would Like to Access Speech Recognition
Once you grant the permission, you’ll be taken to a new “Transcription” section to try out the service.
Speech data from this app will be sent to Apple to process your requests. This will also help Apple improve its speech recognition technology.
WABetainfo notes that transcriptions will be saved locally on the user’s device rather than WhatsApp or Facebook servers.
The voice message transcription feature is currently in development for the iOS version of WhatsApp and will be available to try out in future beta versions. So far, there’s no evidence of a similar feature being developed for the Android version. However, it’s unlikely WhatsApp will leave out Android from such an important feature. We’ll be sure to let you know if we learn about the voice recognition feature for WhatsApp for Android.
Besides the transcription feature, WhatsApp is working on a number of new features for its messaging app, including Instagram-style message reactions, the ability to transfer chats from Android to iOS, a new option to let you hide your “Last Seen” from specific contacts, end-to-end encryption for cloud and local backups and more.