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WhatsApp Testing Different Playback Speeds on iOS and Android

Illustration for article titled WhatsApp Is Reportedly Testing Out Different Playback Speeds, But I Get Lost Listening to Voice Messages Now

Photo: Lionel Bonaventure / AFP (Getty Images)

If you’ve ever gotten a really long voice message on WhatsApp that you wish could go a little faster, WhatsApp apparently listened to you.

The app is reportedly testing out different playback speeds on iOS and Android, according to WABetaInfo. The outlet spotted the feature in a new update in Apple’s TestFlight beta program and the Google Play beta program in recent days. Per WABetaInfo, there will be three playback speeds available on iOS and Android: 1.0x, 1.5x, and 2.0x. The feature is currently under development and is not available to the general public.

In its report on the Android version, the outlet stated that users would be able to change a voice message’s playback speed by tapping on the speed label. You can check out screenshots of what the purported feature would look like below.

As with other developments, it’s not clear that this one will ever make it to the mainstream. There is no set release date.

Now, I don’t know about you all, but I have a hard enough time listening to long voice messages from my friends as it is. Often, some friends that love voice messages will send me messages that are four, five and even 15 minutes long. By the time I finish listening, it’s sometimes hard to remember the multiple topics they mentioned. FYI, a good trick is responding via text in WhatsApp while you’re listening so that you don’t forget all the details in the voice message.

This does not mean I am judging people who send long voice messages. I can’t, because I also do it. In fact, I sometimes joke with my best friends (who are the only ones on this Earth that are willing to listen to a 12-minute voice message from me) that I don’t send them voice messages, I send them podcasts. For those that will inevitably ask why I don’t just call my friends, it’s a time zone issue.

So what do I think when I see WhatsApp’s idea for new playback speeds? I mean, I’m not going to say it’s a bad idea. Surely there will be some people who do find it useful if it ever gets released. But if I get lost while listening to long voice messages on normal playback speed, I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like if I increase that speed. And like, well, I’m not sure if I would laugh or be annoyed if my friends increased the playback speed on my messages (though I wouldn’t blame them, my messages are too long).

Alas, to each their own playback speed.


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