WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users who would rather read their messages than listen to them to have them converted from audio to text. Voice note transcriptions were reportedly put on hold in 2020 for unknown reasons, but have resumed testing as part of the iOS 18.104.22.168 beta.
WABetaInfo claims that the transcription feature will be most helpful for those who have trouble hearing or who would rather read their voice notes rather than listen to them. A screenshot is included in the report to show when the feature may not function, such as when no words are recognized or when the language of the audio message and the language of the transcription do not match.
It’s possible that a number of languages will be supported, but this is still up in the air. According to the report, users can rest assured that their personal information will be protected because the transcription process will be handled independently of WhatsApp or iOS.
The feature is currently in testing for iOS beta users, and it is unknown when it will be made available to users of the stable versions of Android and iOS. New features, such as voice-based Statuses, link preview viewing, and more, have been rolled out globally, and WhatsApp is also working on a feature to schedule group calls.
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A Comprehensive Guide to the Voice-to-Text Function
You may remember hearing in 2021 that WhatsApp had plans to implement a feature to transcribe voice messages into text. It was rumored later that technical difficulties forced a halt to development. After waiting for a couple of years, WhatsApp is supposedly developing the function for iPhone users. With the latest beta update for iOS, WhatsApp users will be able to transcribe their voice messages.
This feature allows iPhone users testing the beta version of WhatsApp to have their voice messages typed out. The function will recognize the speaker’s voice and transcribe the message into text. Many people could benefit from this option, as there are times when listening to entire voicemails is unnecessary.
The company, which is now owned by Meta, had previously implemented voice message speed controls. Users were given the option of listening to voicemails at a 1.5x or 2x speed. At last, users can read transcribed audio messages just as they would any other text message. This feature has many restrictions because it is still in beta.
From what can be seen in the screenshot provided by WaBetaInfo, if the voicemails are in a language other than the one selected for transcriptions, then you won’t be able to access their transcriptions. If the app is unable to recognize a word, it will show a warning and offer to switch the transcription language.
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Neither the availability of this feature nor the languages for which it is currently supported have been confirmed by WhatsApp as of this writing. The transcription feature in this app does not violate users’ privacy because the app does not send the voice data to its server. In a nutshell, WhatsApp will perform the audio to text conversion on the local machine using the language packs that have already been downloaded.
Users can rest easy knowing their voicemails are safe. For reasons of safety, the transcription feature may only be accessible to more recent iOS users. In addition, the update for WhatsApp addresses problems that had arisen when transferring files. Apparently, WhatsApp uses Apple’s speech recognition technology for transcription without providing Apple with any of the data it collects.
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