WhatsApp has rolled out a new feature to users of its beta app that adds the ability to continue listening to a voice message after you’ve exited the chat thread it was received in.

WhatsApp has been working on a global voice note player for some time to let users listen to voice messages in the background while navigating around the app.

Currently, if you play a voice note and then exit the chat thread in which the note was received, playback stops. The idea of allowing playback to continue is so that you can still listen to long recordings while composing and reading other messages.

In the latest beta, if you play a voice note and then switch to the WhatsApp home screen or to a different chat thread, a new voice message playback interface appears at the top of the app with buttons to pause, resume, or dismiss the voice note, along with a progress bar.

According to WABetaInfo, the feature has been released to some iOS testers of WhatsApp Beta and WhatsApp Business Beta, but not all, so if you can’t listen to voice notes when you exit a chat, sit tight and wait for the next beta update when it should roll out more fully.

It’s not known when the global voice note player will go mainstream, but given the feature is now available to both Android and iOS users on the beta, it shouldn’t be too long.

This is the second feature WhatsApp has trialed in 2022. Last week it began testing a feature that displays profile pictures in iOS system notifications when users receive new messages from chats and groups.

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