A new WhatsApp “feature” is doing the rounds on the Internet that seemingly lets the users send the messages without manually typing them. According to some reports, the “feature” in question is a microphone icon that, when tapped, allows users to dictate messages and send to chats. Financial Express Tech independently checked it and found that this is not a feature rolled out by WhatsApp. Instead, it’s the voice typing feature native to Google’s Gboard keyboard app or any other keyboard app that supports voice dictation.
As we said, WhatsApp has not rolled out any such feature as a part of the latest version. The voice typing feature belongs to the Gboard app that lets users dictate messages to the keyboard’s engine which it types in the active text field. The feature is available across various apps that offer a non-secure text field. For example, you can voice type in chat apps, URL boxes, and more using Gboard’s mic. However, text fields that require you to enter passwords or some other confidential credentials are not supported by Gboard’s voice typing.
The reports claiming that it is a WhatsApp feature are false; the “dictation feature” has neither been spotted in any of the previous or existing WhatsApp builds, nor has it been released as a server-side update. For what it seems, the voice typing feature available on keyboard apps such as Gboard and others appears to have been misinterpreted as a WhatsApp feature that has never been spotted or heard of before.
Nonetheless, while the reports have misstated the facts, the voice typing facility can be accessed by the users to send messages to the WhatsApp chats. If you have an Android One smartphone, Gboard is preloaded, however, it can be downloaded on both Android smartphone and iPhone devices via Google Play store and App Store, respectively. You can also download other keyboard apps that support voice typing. It is noteworthy that the users will need to give the keyboard app necessary permissions to use the phone’s microphone to begin voice typing.