WhatsApp has been working on adding new functionality to its voice notes feature over the last few months. Back in April last year, the messenger added the ability to change the playback speed of voice notes. Then in September, we learned that it was also working on adding a new feature that would let users transcribe voice notes. Last month, WhatsApp rolled out another new feature that lets you preview voice notes before sending them. Now, the latest WhatsApp beta update brings another change that will let you listen to voice messages in the background.
Currently, if you play a voice note in WhatsApp and switch to a different chat, it stops playing. But WABetaInfo has found a new global voice note player in the latest WhatsApp beta for Android (v22.214.171.124), which lets you play voice notes in the background.
After you play a voice note and navigate to the WhatsApp home screen or to a different chat, the new voice note player shows up at the top of the app. It includes buttons to let you pause, resume, and dismiss the voice note, and it even features a progress bar. It isn’t immediately clear if the global voice note player will continue to work when you switch to a different app, but that seems highly unlikely.
At the moment, the feature is under development and it’s not available to beta testers in the latest WhatsApp beta release. WhatsApp is yet to release any official information about this change, so we don’t know when it’ll start rolling out on the beta channel.
It’s worth noting that WhatsApp has been working on this global voice note player for a while now. WABetaInfo first spotted it in a WhatsApp beta for iOS back in October last year. But it hasn’t gone live on iOS either. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as the feature becomes available with a future update.
Update: Rolling out with the latest WhatsApp beta for iOS
WhatsApp’s new global voice note player has reportedly started rolling out to some beta testers on iOS. WABetaInfo reports that the feature is available in WhatsApp beta 22.1.72 and WhatsApp Business beta 22.1.72 on iOS. Here’s what it looks like:
It seems like the global voice note player is not available for all beta testers at the moment. If you’re using WhatsApp beta on iOS, you can check if you’ve received the feature or not by playing a voice note and navigating to WhatsApp’s home screen or a different chat. If the voice note keeps playing and you see the new UI, you’re one of the lucky few. Currently, we don’t know when the feature will roll out to more users. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as that happens.
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