WhatsApp is testing voice note playback even beyond chat threads

Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X
Whatsapp Group Message on iPhone X (Image credit: Luke Filipowicz/iMore)

What you need to know

  • WhatsApp is testing a change to how voice memos are played back.
  • Users will be able to continue voice memo playback even when switching away from the current chat thread.

Popular instant messaging platform WhatsApp is testing a change that will allow users to continue to listen to a voice note even after they move away from the chat thread that it lives in. While playing voice notes is nothing new, it would previously require that users stay in the same chat until the note was finished. That's set to change.

As spotted by WABetaInfo, a change to the latest WhatsApp beta means that people can begin listening to a voice memo and move away from the chat it was in without the memo stop playing. That's a big improvement for those who want to be able to interact with other threads while still listening to a long voice memo from another one.

However, as the same report notes, the feature also requires that a change be made on the user's account — meaning even those with the latest WhatsApp beta aren't 100% guaranteed to be able to take advantage of the change just yet.

This feature has been released to some iOS beta testers (including WhatsApp Business beta) but, if you cannot listen to voice notes when you switch to a different chat, it means your WhatsApp account is not ready to let you test the feature: just wait for a future update that will release the feature for more users.

Whatsapp Voice Memo Playback

Whatsapp Voice Memo Playback (Image credit: WABetaInfo)

As for the rest of us, we'll have to wait for the change to come to the App Store version of the app. Hopefully that won't be too far out — WhatsApp is one of the best iPhone apps for staying in touch with other people and it'll be an improvement to listen to voice memos regardless of thread.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.