WhatsApp voice messaging is about to get a huge upgrade

Smartphone showing WhatsApp
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

WhatsApp's voice note function is set to get a whole lot better after the company announced big changes are due to roll out to users "in the coming weeks." And the focus is on making recording and listening to voice messages much more flexible.

First off, the interface as you're recording a message looks to be getting far more detailed. You'll soon be able to see a waveform representing your recording as you go, rather than just a timer and a blinking microphone icon. 

The record button will be gaining a pause feature too. This will let you stop recording if you lose your train of thought or there's a loud noise nearby, and then start again once you're ready, all without sending the message before you tap the button.

A graphic from WhatsApp showing new features for recording voice messages.

(Image credit: WhatsApp)

Messages will no longer automatically send once you release the record button either. You are able to listen back to your message or just delete it and start again before sending. 

When it comes to listening to voice messages, WhatsApp will now let you play a message and then bounce to another chat without stopping playback. You can also speed up the playback to 1.5x or 2x the original speed if you want to get through your messages faster. 

Even better, WhatsApp will remember your progress through messages you listen to, letting you easily pick up from where you left off rather than starting from the beginning again. 

The rollout plan for this update is unfortunately vague, but hopefully it won't be too long until you can try out these fleshed-out voice message features yourself.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.