WhatsApp is gaining a major new feature, adding the ability to transcribe voice messages to text.
First spotted by WABetaInfo, WhatsApp has submitted a new test build via Apple’s TestFlight beta program. The version reveals that WhatsApp is working on the ability to transcribe voice messages.
Interestingly, WABetaInfo first reported that WhatsApp was working on the feature in September 2021, but something seems to have derailed work on it until recently. It appears the feature will be strictly on-device, for privacy reasons.
We discovered that WhatsApp is developing an introduction screen to explain when the transcription is not available: transcripts are unavailable when no words are recognized in the voice note or are set to a different language. These transcriptions are always performed locally on the device by downloading relevant language packs and are never shared with WhatsApp or Apple so you’re still the only that can listen to the content of your voice notes. However, the feature may only work on recent versions of iOS.