WhatsApp has released a new update, version 18.104.22.168, through the Google Play Beta Program. The update introduces a new feature called voice chats, which allows users to communicate in groups. This feature is currently available to some beta testers.
WabetaInfo had earlier mentioned the development of audio chats in an article about the WhatsApp beta for Android 22.214.171.124 update. WhatsApp planned to offer group participants a new way to make voice calls. However, details about how the feature worked were unclear at that time. Now, with the latest WhatsApp beta update, version 126.96.36.199, we have discovered important details about the voice chat feature.
In the new version, a new voice waveform icon will be visible in a group chat if the feature is on and compatible with the group. Tapping on this icon will automatically start the voice chat, and a dedicated interface will appear. Participants in the group can join the voice chat at any time and begin speaking. If the voice chat remains empty, it will automatically end after 60 minutes. However, users can start another voice chat whenever they want.
It’s important to note that voice chats are only accessible in certain groups. Generally, they are available in groups with more than 32 participants, although only up to 32 participants can join a voice chat. However, this configuration may vary depending on the user.
The main advantage of voice chats is that they allow users to initiate a call without ringing everyone’s phone in the group. Participants will receive a silent push notification when a new voice chat is created, and the group icon will display a small thumbnail representing the voice chat in the chat list.
Furthermore, voice chats are protected by end-to-end encryption, ensuring that only the participants can listen to the contents of the call.
The ability to start voice chats is currently available to some users who install the latest WhatsApp beta updates from the Google Play Store, and it will be rolled out to more users in the coming days. However, it may also be available to some users on the stable version of the app.