WhatsApp Features ‘Speak’ that Reads Text Messages - Dispatch Weekly

September 13, 2016 - Reading time: 4 minutes

Article Updated 14th of January 2022 The Facebook owned messaging app, WhatsApp, has launched an update version on Android Beta that has added two features: video calls and a feature that allows messages to be read to you. In a recent update to the popular messaging app, WhatsApp has included a new feature that allows people on the platform to hear text messages. This new voice note is designed for those who are hearing-impaired and may have trouble reading text messages aloud.


Two features including, video calls and reading messages capabilities are being tested on iOS devices. This will allow your phone to read back your WhatsApp chats for you.

The android version of WhatsApp is also being updated to include photo filters, stickers and text on photos. This rivals other messaging apps like Snapchat.

The idea is to make WhatsApp more interactive, engaging customers into adding stickers, scribbling and doodling on their messages. A selfie flash will also be introduced to phones that have a flash on the selfie camera.

Why are people excited about this update?

Text messages are a vital way of communicating with friends, family, and colleagues. Facebook has recently added the ability for people to “speak” their text messages aloud using their voice instead of typing out what they want to say. People are excited about this update because it is much more convenient for those who need to text often but don’t have time to type out every word.

What does the new WhatsApp Voice feature do?

If you’ve ever read a text message by typing it in front of your phone, then this new feature is for you! It’s called WhatsApp Voice and it will speak text messages to you in real-time. You can set up voice notifications for specific contacts or groups that are important to you. There is also an option to turn off voice notifications temporarily when you are in a meeting or other situation where your phone’s screen should be off.

How do people feel about this new update?

People are mixed on the new update. Some say that it’s more of an inconvenience, while others are more excited about it. Some people don’t like the idea of not being able to read their messages out loud, but other people enjoy the convenience of this feature.

Controversial Sharing of Information With Facebook

With this new feature, you can now have WhatsApp read your messages to the person on the other line. When you are ready to send a text message, simply tap the little microphone that appears at the bottom of the keyboard. The sender can then dictate their text message into the phone and it will be automatically sent.

On the other hand, WhatsApp will share user information with Facebook users to improve directed advertising and marketing.

The new version of WhatsApp will not be available to all iOS devices, keeping it a limited version available to few models of Apple.

Nothing is certain but WhatsApp is focusing on the latest Android Beta Version, which will take time to develop.

WhatsApp, the Statistics, Figures and Trends

  • According to Crunchbase, WhatsApp Inc raised $250,000 in seed funding on October 2009
  • As of September 2015, the app has 900m active monthly users (USA Today)
  • Facebook bought WhatsApp in February 2014 for $19bn (Statista)

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.