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WhatsApp is transforming how you use voice messages

WhatsApp
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Alex Ruhl)

WhatsApp will soon let you fast-forward through voice messages to save time, and we now know what the interface for doing so is likely to look like.

When it's not being used for video calls, WhatsApp is primarily use for text-based chats. While many people also send images and other files as attachments, it's easy to forget that the app can also be used to record and send audio messages to people.

This is a great way to avoid typing, and greatly speeds things up for the person who has something to say. But audio messages take time to listen to – so WhatsApp is taking steps to reduce this, making things quicker for the recipient.

Thanks to the detective work of WABetaInfo, we have known about an upcoming variable playback speed feature in WhatsApp for a little while now. But while we have seen references to this option in preview builds of the app, we've had no idea just how the feature is going to be implemented; but now we do.

In version 2.21.6.11 of the WhatsApp Beta app for Android we get a nice glimpse into the future and see how the variable playback speed function will look. From what has been implemented so far, we can see that it will be possible to choose between three different message playback speed: 1x, 1.5x and 2x.

Fast talkin'

As you can see in the screenshots WABetaInfo shared in a tweet, adjusting playback speed look to be incredibly simple. When you receive an audio message, you need simple tap it to toggle between the various speed options.

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If you've ever received a message from someone who waffles and takes an age to get to the point, or if you're just pushed for time, being able to race through message in this way will be a real boon.

At the moment, the feature is only visible in the beta version of WhatsApp for Android, but it will almost certainly be included in the iOS version as well. What we don't know, however, is the timetable for rolling out the feature to users. It could be just a matter of days or weeks away, but we'll just have to wait to see for sure.

Via MSPoweruser

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, Sofia continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, sharing new discoveries is a major passion.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.