The WhatsApp team has obviously decided on a slow start to 2023. Or maybe they’re taking the ‘get the easy stuff out the way for a sense of accomplishment so the bigger tasks don’t seem as daunting’ approach. That’s… one way of doing it.
We’ll admit we got a little excited when we first saw the update from WABetaInfo. We thought it might be one of the updates we were looking forward to this year, like making transferring chat history between Android smartphones easier. We’ll have to keep waiting because this ain’t that.
WhatsApp with all the updates?
The newest update currently rolling out to those signed up with the Google Play Beta Program (currently full) allows you to set a voice note as your status – a ‘voicetus’, if you will. Judging from the available screenshots, the option to speak your mind to your contacts appears as a small green microphone icon on the status tab.
Unfortunately, users are apparently limited to a 30-second recording and as with sending voice notes to a contact, you’re able to pause and resume your recording if you tap-hold and swipe up. The option to delete your recording before sending is also available if you’re prone to um’s and ah’s.
As with most WhatsApp features, this one includes end-to-end encryption meaning only your selected audience (defined in the privacy settings) will be able to listen. Our guess is this will also be subject to status abuse reporting when that feature becomes available.
While this might sound useful, especially if you’re vocally blessed, we’ll caution against any optimism you may have. The usual disclaimers still apply as this is only rolling out to the beta channel for now and being subject to change without notice. And if you’re one of the lucky ones with access to the feature, you should know that only other people on the same WhatsApp version (184.108.40.206) can listen to your ‘voicetus’.