You can now play audio messages on WhatsApp whilst chatting in another thread

The Meta-owned messaging service now lets you listen to WhatsApp voice messages and audio files outside of chats, improving your multitasking when using the app.

An illustration with a WhatsApp logo in white set against a green background
  • You can now play WhatsApp voice messages and audio files while in another thread
  • Start playing an audio message, then switch to another chat to multitask
  • Reply to someone in a new thread while listening to the audio message
  • This new feature requires WhatsApp for iOS 22.4.75, available on the App Store

How to play WhatsApp voice messages outside of chats

WhatsApp (owned by Meta, formerly Facebook), was testing its multitasking global audio player with select users since the beginning of the year. The feature is now ready for prime time, so WhatsApp has decided to release it to all users via an App Store update. “You can now play voice messages and audio files outside of chats,” according to release notes accompanying WhatsApp for iPhone version 22.4.75.

To use WhatsApp’s new global player, start listening to a voice message or playing an audio file, then navigate away to a different chat. The voice player will remain affixed to the top of the WhatsApp interface so you can control audio playback while multitasking.

  1. Launch WhatsApp version 22.4.75 or later on your iPhone
  2. Start playing a voice message or an audio file from one of your chats
  3. Go to a different chat thread to multitask while the audio message continues playing

This is especially useful when time is of the essence. Instead of sitting through a long audio message from a friend, why not make better use of your time? Just pop in your AirPods and listen to a voice message while chatting with friends in other threads, replying to their messages, sending and receiving images and so on. Read: Useful tips for how to fix WhatsApp not working on iPhone

If you have updated your copy of WhatsApp to the latest version that’s available in the App Store, and you still don’t see the updated voice player, you’re advised to check back a few days or weeks later. For various reasons, app makers tend to release major new features in stages, and WhatsApp is no exception.

The company is currently testing other features that may or may not see the light of day.

Other new or upcoming WhatsApp features

One of the tests would indicate that your message exchange is end-to-end encrypted with a new, much clearer indicator for the iOS app. Others would add iMessage-style reactions to chat bubbles, bring the ability to set wallpapers for voice calls, and more.

WhatsApp continues to enhance its software with new capabilities. For example, the app now lets you pause/resume while recording a WhatsApp voice message, preview a message before it’s sent, show contact photos in notifications and more.

Recently, WhatsApp also introduced a few tweaks for the in-app camera feature.