The instant messaging app WhatsApp is all set to be working on a new feature that will let users transcribe their voice messages. Currently, this feature is said to be under testing for iOS users. Also, it is believed to be rolled out to Android users as well over time.
At present, WhatsApp doesn't provide any transcription of voice messages. Instead, there are third-party apps that are available for Android and iOS users to transcribe the voice messages.
WhatsApp Testing New Voice Transcription Feature
In a report by WABetaInfo, the WhatsApp beta tracker, posted screenshots that hint at the development of the new voice message transcription feature. The report shows that it is under testing only on the iOS version of the app. This report details how this feature works for users.
One of the screenshots shows that the app will send speech data that it receives in the form of voice messages directly to the speech engine of Apple for transcription. This indicates that Facebook will not be involved in this transcription process.
To enable the voice message transcription, WhatsApp requires permission to share the speech data with Apple. WhatsApp will ask users to grant the required permission to transcribe the messages.
Once users grant the permission, users can get their voice messages transcribed. Also, the iOS version of the app will get a new feature called Transcript, hints the report. This feature will let users get the timestamps as well so that they can jump to a particular section of the message.
Also, it has been made clear that the transcription will be locally saved in the WhatsApp database when the first message is transcribed. The screenshots were shared from WhatsApp for iPhone hinting that it is on cards. Given that the transcriptions will be stored locally, the speech data will adhere to privacy concerns. Notably, the third-party apps will store speech data on their servers, thereby raising concerns regarding privacy.
Though the WhatsApp voice transcription feature is on cards, we do not know when exactly the feature will be rolled out to users. We can expect a beta launch of this feature sometime soon.