WhatsApp is testing 3 new features, including voice note transcriptions

WhatsApp will soon let you transcribe voice messages into text. The Meta-owned app is also testing in-app camera improvements and call scheduling.

Apple's iPhone displaying the home screen shortcuts menu for WhatsApp is being held in a male's hand in this featured image from Unsplash
The new features are currently in testing | Image: Dimitri Karastelev / Unsplash
  • What’s happening? Meta is testing several new features for WhatsApp, including the ability to transcribe voice messages into text.
  • Why care? People who prefer to read rather than listen to messages will be able to transcribe any voice message with a touch of a button.
  • What to do? This and other new features will arrive in a future update to the app. Keep your eyes peeled and watch this space as we’ll be keeping you looped.

WhatsApp is testing audio transcriptions

Voice messaging has become especially popular with younger users. WhatsApp already provides a robust set of features for recording voice messages, and now the Meta-owned app is testing the ability to transcribe voice notes into text.

According to WABetaInfo, once the user selects their preferred language, WhatsApp will download an appropriate language pack to use for translation. Transcriptions are performed locally on the device without engaging servers, ensuring privacy as no one, not even WhatsApp or Apple, will be able to access transcriptions.

Hands-free video recording

WhatsApp’s video-recording feature is also undergoing some much-needed changes. A new test in the iOS app refreshes the camera interface for beta testers with easy switching between snapping pictures and recording video. Currently, you must press and hold the shutter button to record video using the in-app camera.

In the future, you’ll be able to swipe between photo and video modes in the same way you can switch modes in Apple’s Camera app by swiping left or right. And when you start recording, you won’t be required to keep holding the shutter button.

This isn’t the only improvement in terms of WhatsApp’s recording interface. According to another WaBetaInfo post, it will finally be possible to switch from the front to back camera, and vice versa, while shooting video.

Call scheduling

WhatsApp is also testing the ability to schedule calls within group conversations, which is currently available to beta testers. With this feature, you’ll be able to schedule calls with one or more group chat participants in advance. For folks who have this feature, touching the phone icon in the title bar of their group chat will produce a menu with two options: Call Group and Schedule Call.

WABetaInfo explains that you’ll be able to give a scheduled call a title and, of course, set the date and time for the call. This should be especially useful when planning a group event because chat members will be able to easily schedule a call to discuss the details and make sure everyone is available, WABetaInfo explains.

The latest new features on WhatsApp

WhatsApp recently began rolling out several improvements designed to make you use its Status feature more frequently. These include voice statuses, status reactions, link previews and more. WhatsApp also launched the ability to message yourself in the app and is currently testing a Catalyst-powered native app on macOS that should soon replace its current Electron-powered desktop app.