WhatsApp is rolling out new features that makes its voice messaging easier to use. Voice messaging has become are more popular way to communicate between friends, as it allows the intimacy of a regular voice call with the convenience of a text. You're having a full conversation but on your terms.
While, I'm still a text guy, I have friends and family that think nothing of sending a five minute long voice note rather than a lengthy text. WhatsApp itself claims that on average 7 billion voice messages are sent on its platform each day. Where do people find the time?
To make the process of sending and receiving these voice notes easier, WhatsApp has added a number of improvements that are expected to roll in the coming weeks.
The most interesting of these new features is Out of Chat Playback. Currently, if you leave the thread the voice message will stop playing. With the new function, you can switch to other messages and answer those texts while your mother's voice message tells you what the cat has had to eat that day. It's not clear if this will still work if you switch to other apps, but that would be even better.
When recording a voice message you have to do it in one go, with the only options being to send or delete when you stop. While this isn't a big problem (you can always follow on with a second message), WhatsApp is adding the option to pause and resume recording. This means you can stop and come back to that epic message and send it as one masterpiece.
The new Waveform Visualization doesn't seem to add much more than being able to tell the really loud bits in a conversation but it does look quite nice on the screen. I guess it's one way to tell if you're about to listen to a quiet or shouty message before you open it.
Much more useful is the Draft Preview. This lets you preview your voice message before you send it, so you can make sure you made sense in that message before delivering it.
If you need to come back to a message halfway through, with Remember Playback you can now pause it and pick up where you left off, even if you come out of the app.
The final upgrade is perfect for those longer messages. You will soon be able to play forwarded voice messages at 1.5x or 2x speeds, to get through them faster. Though this is already available on regular messages, Fast Playback on forwarded messages will also be available.