What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out user’s “highly requested” voice messages feature in Chat.
  • Users can tap the microphone icon in a chat or group thread in the app with the option to re-record if needed before sending.
  • Unfortunately, Google left out personal accounts from voice messages in Chat, meaning Enterprise customers are first in line.

Google is beginning to roll out a new update to Chat today (Mar. 26) that brings a long-awaited messaging feature to the platform.

Google Chat now supports voice messages on its platform, according to a Workspace update. The company states that the feature will only be available on mobile devices with this rollout as it continues to develop a version for desktops. Google states that voice messages in Chat should help users “convey more information” and deliver more emphasis.

Users on Android and iOS can tap the microphone icon beside the image option in a one-on-one or group chat. Chat will begin recording audio; when you’re done, you’ll have the chance to listen to it and re-record if there are mistakes. After that, users can send their recordings.

Those you’re chatting with can quote, react, and reply to it within a thread. Google teased that it’s also working on adding voice message transcriptions, which should arrive “in the coming months.”

Unfortunately, Google has left personal account holders out of its rollout of voice messages in Chat. The company states Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Essentials Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus users are eligible to receive it.

Users on Google’s rapid release schedule will see voice messages arrive today (Mar. 26). They should give the process at least 15 days to complete. Google will shift to the “Scheduled Release” domains on April 15.

Admins of the previously mentioned domains will find that voice messages are turned on by default.

Google has been working on voice messages in Chat for a while now, and an interview with the company also stated that its customers had requested the feature quite often. Google stated that a feature like this would help further evolve Chat from a simple text-based app to one that supports multimedia modalities.

Chat also picked up an update in February that brought it closer to Messages as users can now “Star” messages. Starring messages in Chat enables folks to rediscover them through search and spot what’s important easily using its bright star icon. Searching for saved or “starred” messages joins users’ ability to discover mentions in the app.

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