Some people speak faster than others. Some listen faster than others. If the discrepancy gets nervous, specifically when you listen to a voicemail that someone left you on WhatsApp, you may want to get on the beta channel. The option to increase the playback speed (as seen in some podcast managers) is now rolling out for beta users.
The updated feature was spotted and recorded by several different users and confirmed by third parties, using a build of the app retrieved from the standard Play Store beta channel. To activate variable playback, touch the “1.0x” label next to the progress bar in an active voice message. 1.0x, 1.5x, and 2.0x playback speeds are available, which is less granularity than we normally see for this type of feature, but hey, that’s why it’s a beta. There’s also no option to slow down playback, which I know some hard of hearing would appreciate.
The variable playback speed feature seems to be rolling out users slowly; Two different android police testers were unable to access it even using the latest build (22.214.171.124), released yesterday. It was visible to at least some people over a month ago, so this appears to be quite a slow rollout indeed. This indicates a server-side change (audience reference moans), so don’t be surprised if you don’t see the option immediately. Let’s hope it gets up to the general version before too long.
Other changes in the latest beta include larger image and video previews, and the disappearing messages option is available to all users in group chats by default.
Now you can listen to voice messages at different speeds by changing the 1x / 1.5x / 2x buttons while a message is playing.
Although it is officially available, some users might need to wait a bit longer to get the feature, as the new version seems to be gradually rolling out globally.