WhatsApp voice notes are great, aren’t they? They enable us to send long messages when we haven’t got a free hand or two to do the typing.
Voice notes also come with their fair share of limitations, however. You can’t search for voice notes based on the content of the message like you can with regular text-based chats. And the message content remains hidden behind a play button. It is next to impossible to take information from old voice notes.
The perfect midpoint here is voice dictation. If you can talk into your phone like you do for voice notes and have the message written out like with a standard chat, you’ll have the best of both worlds.
Thankfully, WhatsApp Dictation is available for WhatsApp both on Android and iOS devices.
To be able to use WhatsApp Dictation, you will need the latest version of WhatsApp. Once you have it, using WhatsApp Dictation is very simple. Inside a chat look for the new microphone icon. On Android, you’ll find it in the top-right of the keyboard, just below the voice note icon, and on the iPhone, you’ll find it in the bottom-right of the keyboard.
To use WhatsApp Dictation, you open a chat, hit the text bar, and then tap the keyboard microphone icon. This will activate the microphone and will begin dictating everything you say. The microphone will continue to listen, and WhatsApp will continue to dictate as long as you’re talking. It will deactivate after a few seconds of silence. Once WhatsApp has written down everything you’ve said, you send your message in the normal way.
There are a couple of other things to note when you use WhatsApp Dictation. First, you can use questions and commas by saying “comma” and “question mark” when you want WhatsApp to place one in the sentence you’re dictating. Second, it is recommended that you speak slowly and clearly to give WhatsApp the best chance of dictating your message correctly.
Doing so in a quiet environment will also help in this respect.
How to try new features on WhatsApp before anybody else
Obviously, in its early days, WhatsApp dictation is not going to be a perfect option, and users will no doubt notice mistakes in their dictated messages. No method is perfect though.
I’ve been using swipe typing for years now, as it allows me to write longer messages much more quickly, and I’m always noticing incorrect words in my chats. The key, no matter what method you use to type out your messages, is to give your message a quick check before you hit send.