WhatsApp is working on providing in-app transcriptions for voice notes on iOS, according to WABetaInfo. The feature will allow you to transcribe any voice message in the app and provides timestamps for each sentence.
For those worried about privacy, transcription will apparently happen locally on your iPhone instead of going through WhatsApp or Facebook servers. In turn, the service will help Apple to improve its speech recognition technology, and WABetaInfo claims that your identity won’t be linked to the data.
Transcription will reportedly be done manually for each voice message instead of automatic, and you’ll have to give WhatsApp special permission to access your iPhone’s speech recognition. Clicking on transcribed audio will also open up a new “Transcript” section, where you can jump to a specific timestamp.
The transcriptions are saved locally in the WhatsApp database on your phone, meaning you won’t have to go through transcribing it again when you want to access them later on. WABetaInfo does not mention whether the feature is only available for voice messages received or whether it can also be applied to voice messages sent by the user.
While this is exciting for iOS users, there is unfortunately no word yet on this feature’s development for Android phones. Most likely, the feature would use a different implementation on Android as not every phone has the same speech recognition capabilities. Of course, that’s a long way away as we don’t even know when the iOS version will be released to the public.