WhatsApp has been working on the feature for about six months, wanting to make voice messaging simpler and easier to use than other apps with the functionality, CEO Jan Koum told AllThingsD in an interview.
With the updated WhatsApp, a user pushes to record a message rather than type one. When she lets go, the message sends. If she decides not to send, she swipes to the left and the recording is deleted. All that is built into a single tap.Other perks of the new voice messaging feature include no length limit on recorded messages and volume controls that automatically adjust based on ambient influences. For example, when listening to a voice message, the volume will fluctuate based on how close a device is to the user's ear. In addition, a blue microphone illustration notifies the sender when a voice message has been heard.
Koum says the new voice messaging feature is beneficial to users who speak complicated languages, like Russian with its 33-letter alphabet, because those languages are more difficult to type on a small touchscreen. Instead, those users can opt for more simple voice messages to communicate with each other.
WhatsApp Messenger was just updated in mid-July, turning the $0.99 app into a free app with a $1-a-year subscription. WhatsApp Messenger for iPhone is available in the App Store for free, although the update with voice messaging has yet to go live. [Direct Link]