A report revealed that WhatsApp is developing a feature that will provide written transcripts of received voice messages, allowing you to easily read what was said without having to play it out loud. The feature spotted by WABetaInfo is currently in development for iOS. It is not clear when the beta version of WhatsApp will arrive for iPhone users or when it will arrive on Android.
According to screenshots shared by WABetaInfo, the feature works by sending speech data to Apple to process your requests, not to the parent company Facebook. There is a disclaimer that this data will also help Apple improve speech recognition technology.
It is unclear how the data sent to Apple will be secured since the feature has not yet been officially announced. At the moment, voice messages are protected by end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp.
Voice messages are a useful feature in WhatsApp, especially if you need to send a longer message and are not in a position to write it. But they can sometimes cause problems for recipients who do not have headphones and are not in a position to listen to a message aloud, or simply if they do not have time to listen to an entire voice message, transcription processes can allow people to silently view the contents of the voice message, or indicate Important details later without the need to erase audio.
WABetaInfo reports that audio conversions are saved to the device after they're created and that the "Text" section makes it easy to skip to certain parts of a message. This is similar to other auto-transcription programs like Google Recorder or Otter.ai, which let you tap on a word to skip the moment you want it. It is pronounced in them in the recording, currently, WhatsApp voice messages can only be transcribed using third-party software.
At the moment there is no indication that there is a similar feature in the WhatsApp for Android app. However given the level of feature parity between different WhatsApp apps, WABetaInfo anticipates that it may also be on the way.