Voice messaging apps: WhatsApp review

With more than 1.5 billion users, WhatsApp is one of the most popular mobile chat platforms in the world — and it’s free. One of the main benefits of WhatsApp, especially in foreign countries, is that you can text and call people without paying international phone rates. That makes WhatsApp a main source of communication when I’m traveling abroad.

What you need to know about WhatsApp

WhatsApp was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees. From the start, the app has facilitated the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location. But what many people use the service for is voice messages.

Voice messaging has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Other platforms like Facebook Messenger, Oovoo, Skype and Snapchat (to name a few) have all introduced voice messaging features.

I have had WhatsApp for several years now, but honestly had never used the voice messaging feature until recently. I had to re-aquaint myself with the app, but quickly got the hang of things again.

While voice-recorded messages were not something the app originally did, WhatsApp added the feature a few years ago. Here’s how to do it with an iPhone:

Here’s how to send a voice message on WhatsApp

  1. Open the app and log in if you haven’t already. Then, go to the contact you wish to send a voice message to and tap their name.
WhatsApp review
Screenshot of Whatsapp icon on iPhone

2. To start recording, tap and hold the microphone icon in the lower right-hand corner of your screen. It’s right next to the camera icon.

Whatsapp review
Screenshot of WhatsApp

3. When you finish recording the message, release the icon and the voice file will be sent immediately. That means once your finger comes off the button, the file is transmitted and there is no “Send” button.

WhatsApp review
Screenshot of WhatsApp

4. If you choose not to record your voice, you can cancel sending. All you have to do is slide your finger to the left and it will disappear. This has to be done while you’re recording though.

5. To end the recording, just tap the send button and the voice recording will be on its way.

WhatsApp recently introduced a Locked Recordings feature in beta for Android phones. This solves the issue of having to constantly keep your finger on the mic button to record a message.

If you press the padlock icon on the right-hand side of the chat window, you can slide it to lock the recording. This feature has yet to come to the iPhone, though.

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Voice messaging apps: WhatsApp review