Gadgets & apps

This article was published on March 31, 2022

WhatsApp’s new features will make voice messages suck less

It finally has out of chat playback


WhatsApp’s new features will make voice messages suck less
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

WhatsApp voice notes are useful when you want to send some explanation or rant about a bad date to a friend, and you’re too tired to type all of that.

But creating and listening to these notes has been a sucky experience — until now. Last night, WhatsApp said it’s going to roll out a bunch of features over the next few weeks that can turn voice notes into a pleasant experience.

There are two things I’m most excited about: out-of-chat playback and remember playback.

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Here’s how it works. Currently, WhatsApp pauses a voice note if you switch to another chat. That’s annoying because you might want to quickly reply to someone while listening to a 10-minute long voice note.

Thankfully, the first feature I mentioned solves that issue. You’ll see a bar atop the app showing what voice note is playing, and you can always quickly press the x sign to close it.

Here's a summary of what's coming up for WhatsApp voice messages
Here’s a summary of what’s coming up for WhatsApp voice messages

The second feature that’s coming up solves another major problem. For the longest time, WhatsApp played a voice message from the beginning if you moved to another chat or closed the app.

So when you returned to the chat, you had to manually scrub to the part where you had left. I have been extremely annoyed by this limitation.

Now, the app remembers the marker automatically, so it’s like resuming a song or a podcast playback.

WhatsApp’s rolling out some other features like the preview draft before sending, pause voice, recording, and waveform visualization.

The company has already rolled out a playback speed feature to devices, and you can read our guide on how to use it.

With this, WhatsApp has finally caught up with Telegram which already allowed voice notes to be played out of the chat. Plus, it makes composing voice messages a better experience. Now, it should finally focus on launching this rumored poll feature for groups.

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