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WhatsApp on Android could soon get a feature that was only on iOS

WhatsApp could finally give the Android app a long-awaited feature.

Published onMarch 19, 2024

WhatsApp logo on smartphone next to other devices Stock photo 4
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • An APK teardown revealed WhatsApp is working on a new feature for the Android version of the app.
  • The new feature would allow Android users to transcribe voice messages.
  • Voice message transcription was previously only available on the iOS app.

WhatsApp rolled out voice message transcription back in May 2023, but it was only available to users on iOS. It’s been almost a year since then, but it looks like WhatsApp may finally bring the feature over to Android soon.

In an APK teardown of WhatsApp beta version, the folks over at TheSpAndroid discovered strings of code that suggest a new feature is in development for the Android version of the app. The strings refer to end-to-end encrypted transcripts. Specifically, the strings of code included:

  • To enable transcripts, 150MB of new app data will be downloaded.
  • Enable
  • Read before you listen with transcripts
  • “WhatsApp uses your device’s speech recognition to provide end-to-end encrypted transcripts. Learn more”
  • Turn on transcripts

It appears that before the feature can be enabled, users will have to download 150MB of data first. The feature will then rely on the device’s speech-recognition software to work. You’ll likely be able to find the feature under Chats when you go into Settings.

Although the strings of code are there, the outlet was unable to use the feature. It’s possible the feature isn’t activated yet, which suggests it is still in early development.

It’s unclear when WhatsApp is planning to roll out voice message transcription for Android. But it’s important to keep in mind that, as with any APK teardown, there’s no guarantee the feature will ever be released publicly.

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