Facebook Begins Small-Scale Testing of Voice-to-Text Conversations in Messenger

by

Facebook today began testing a new feature on its Messenger service, automatically transcribing voice messages sent through the service directly into text.

Announced by the Facebook's VP of Messaging David Marcus on his Facebook page, the update is meant to be more helpful for people who enjoy sending and receiving voice messages but find themselves in situations such as a meeting where audio is less suitable to the environment (via The Next Web).

Facebook Messenger

"Today we are starting to roll out a small test that helps people read the voice clips they receive instead of having to play them out loud. So, for example, if you’re at a concert or in a meeting, and would prefer to read a voice clip from a friend, you now can if you're part of the small test we're rolling out."

Marcus goes on to mention that the current plan for the update is to keep it at a "tiny scale for now" and see how it performs in the wild. After seeing what the small scale of users think of the new feature, Facebook will decide whether to make the feature "more widely available."

Though the Facebook Messenger app retains a low rating in the App Store due to customer complaints over the company's continued attempt to separate individual services into various apps, it retained the top spot on 2014's list of most downloaded apps when results were announced late last month.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
75 months ago
Still won't download Messenger…
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
I really liked they splitted those two apps up. On my iPhone i only have messenger app, I don't need to see my newsfeed every time I want to chat. And most of my conversations is on fb. So it's nice they only have a chat app
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Just what we need, more douchbags yelling into their phones in public.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
I quit using FB for ages.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago

We don't need a separate app for every Facebook feature. It's as if your bank had an app that showed account balances but provided a different app to transfer money.

On the other hand, Facebook clearly wants a presence in various app categories not to mention the ad revenue.

Your example seems a bit extreme. I think of it similar to all of the Google apps that are out there. Why not just have a single Google App that includes Maps, Drive (and now the separate Sheets & Docs apps), Google+, Google Voice, Gmail, Hangouts, and even Chrome... just maybe a Google Chrome app that has all of those things in it.

Honestly, I can see where people might use one or the other a different times... check Facebook updates, go to Facebook -- chat with friends, go to Messenger. And I can see where development of these two things is much easier (and maybe necessary) being separate apps. It just doesn't seem such a big deal as I'm made to believe by all of the comments I read on this subject.

I understand that people have their reasons to complain about this, but I struggle to feel it's a big deal.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
75 months ago
Still haven't downloaded it, never will. Bite me FB. #
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

French iPhone Boxes Come Packed in an Outer Box With Separate EarPods

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:52 am PDT by
After the news that France would be the only territory to continue to include EarPods with the iPhone, it seems that Apple is not packing the earbuds within the iPhone's box (via iGeneration). Screenshot from TheiCollection's review video The French iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro does not have a different retail box to accommodate EarPods, meaning that all iPhone boxes are consistent...

Some Defective Apple iPhone 12 Cases Shipping Without Speaker Holes

Wednesday October 21, 2020 12:54 pm PDT by
At least two customers who have purchased iPhone 12 cases have received defective cases that do not have speaker holes, which obscures the sound. Photo by Reddit user zarnold16 There have been two separate threads on Reddit from iPhone 12 customers who purchased a case and received one without speaker holes. One customer was told by an Apple advisor that the case wasn't meant to have...

Watch: New iPad Air Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Wednesday October 21, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted on reviews for the new iPad Air ahead of its launch on Friday. In addition to our more detailed review roundup, we've shared a handful of unboxing videos and first impressions of the device below. The new iPad Air via Karl Conrad The new iPad Air features a larger 10.9-inch edge-to-edge display, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a USB-C port instead of Lightning. It is...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...