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WhatsApp Could Soon Let You Schedule Calls, Transcribe Voice Notes

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WhatsApp is working on the ability to schedule calls on an upcoming version of the messaging app, according to details shared by a feature tracker. The popular messaging service could let users schedule calls with members of the same group, who will be notified when the call begins. WhatsApp is also working on the ability to transcribe voice notes, several months after it was first spotted in development. Transcriptions could take place on the device, and may only be supported on recent smartphones.

According to details shared by WhatsApp feature tracker WABetaInfo, the Meta-owned messaging service is developing a new feature that will allow users in a group chat to schedule a call. The feature could come in handy for groups where the members have agreed to a specific time for a call. The feature is still in development, which means that beta testers cannot currently try out the ability to schedule calls. 

A screenshot of the feature shared by WABetaInfo, likely via reverse engineering, shows a new Schedule Call option that appears when selecting the call button on version of WhatsApp beta for Android. Tapping the option displays a card that allows users to enter a title, select a date and time, and then tap the Create button. According to the image, users will be notified when a call is scheduled and when the call begins.

Scheduled calls (left) on Android and voice transcription (right) on iOS
Photo Credit: WABetaInfo


Meanwhile, the feature tracker also spotted WhatsApp working on the ability to transcribe voice messages. Readers might recall that the service was already working on such a feature back in 2021. WABetaInfo says that development of the feature was paused for unknown reasons, while version of WhatsApp beta for iOS includes signs that the service may roll out the feature with an upcoming update. 

The screenshot shared by WABetaInfo shows a pop-up card with an error explaining why transcripts for a specific message aren’t available. The message informs the user that transcription may not be available when no words are recognised, or when a user hasn’t set transcripts to the language the voice message was sent in. 

WhatsApp’s voice transcription feature was spotted on iOS, and WABetaInfo says that the transcription will take place on a user’s device. This should mean that neither WhatsApp nor Apple will have access to your voice messages, which are end-to-end encrypted. However, this also suggests that the feature may require a recent version of iOS (which means that only recent iPhone models may support the feature) according to the feature tracker  

It is worth noting that the messaging service is still in the process of developing these features, and is yet to announce a date for their release. As with all beta features, the company could drop or halt development in favour of another feature. 

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series of smartphones was launched earlier this week and the South Korean firm’s high-end handsets have seen a few upgrades across all three models. What about the increase in pricing? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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