WhatsApp to get voice message transcription and end-to-end encryption support for cloud backups soon

Highlights
  • WhatsApp voice transcription feature has currently been spotted only for iOS build of the app
  • WhatsApp end-to-end encryption for cloud backups will be available for both Android and iOS users
  • The voice transcription will be performed by Apple, not Facebook or WhatsApp

WhatsApp is ready to get two extremely useful features – voice message transcription and end-to-end encryption support for cloud backups. While the end-to-end encryption support for cloud backups is going to be available for both iOS and Android users, the voice message transcription feature has been only spotted for the iOS build of the app as of now. Talking about the voice message transcription feature first, it is currently under development and was spotted by the usual suspect – WABetaInfo. This feature will be optional and will reportedly be made available soon for WhatsApp beta users on iOS. 

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In case you are worried about sharing voice data with Facebook, the report says that the voice messages and data will not be shared with Facebook as these messages will be transcribed by Apple. However, WABetaInfo says, “When a message is transcripted for the first time, its transcription is saved locally in the WhatsApp database, so it won’t be needed to transcript it again if you want to see its transcription later.” Make of this what you will.

As per the report, this transcription feature will also help Apple improve its speech recognition technology as well. As you might have already guessed, in order to use this feature, users will have to grant speech recognition access to WhatsApp. As of now, there is no indication about the availability of this feature on the Android version, but it is likely that WhatsApp will eventually offer the same feature on Google’s mobile operating system as well.

Moving on to the end-to-end encryption support for cloud backups, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Friday that WhatsApp is the “first global messaging service at this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups.” With this update, users across platforms will get the option to have an end-to-end encryption option for backups they choose to store in Google Drive or iCloud.