It’s been nearly a year and a half since we reported WhatsApp’s involvement in building a feature that would turn voice notes into text. And then suddenly… it wasn’t. The feature was never officially announced by WhatsApp, so its departure was never explained. According to WABetaInfo, the feature is back and making the rounds on WhatsApp’s beta program.
Most (sane) people avoid voice notes wherever they can, whether it be sending or listening to them. They’re a hassle to listen to and usually receive responses in the form of a text message (if at all). If the feature does reach a full rollout, that will no longer be a problem. And if you’re still not getting a reply to your vocal missives… look inward.
Finally, inner peace
Not much is known yet about how the feature will work. We do know that the transcription always happens locally on the device, and requires users to download specific language packs for the feature to work. And, as with any voice note or text, the messages are protected by end-to-end encryption which means that WhatsApp cannot listen in.
Unfortunately, there’s a possibility that the feature will only be available to iPhone users – at least at first. So far, the feature has only arrived on the iOS beta program, with no mention of an Android release. We’re sure it’s coming – just at a later date.
There’s no way of knowing when the feature will officially roll out, iOS or otherwise. Usually, once a feature reaches the coveted beta phase, it means that a full release is right around the corner. This feature isn’t like other features, though. Considering its troubled history, we’d advise against holding your breath until its release is official.