How do I send a voice text message?

What are voice text messages?

Voice texts use audio recordings instead of typed text. They allow you to send a voice memo or note just like a regular text message, but using your voice instead of typing (NPR, 2023). Voice texts are often quicker and more convenient than typing out a long text, especially if you want to convey emotion or nuance.

Voice texts, also called “voice notes” or “audio messages”, allow you to record a short voice memo using your phone’s microphone and send it to someone as if it’s a text message. So instead of typing out words, you simply record yourself speaking and send the recording. The recipient will then be able to play back the audio file as if they were listening to a voicemail (Vox, 2023).

When to use voice texts

Voice texts can be useful in certain situations, particularly when you want to convey emotion or tone of voice. According to an article by Vox, “We can understand emotion better in the voice” compared to text (source). Voice allows more nuance and feeling to come through.

Voice texts are also helpful for conveying long messages instead of typing out paragraphs of text. As NPR reported, voice recordings offer “an easier, low-pressure alternative” to texting (source). Speaking may feel more natural than writing out complex thoughts.

Finally, voice texts are useful when your hands are full or you can’t type for whatever reason. For example, you could send a quick voice update while cooking, driving, or doing another activity.

Sending voice texts on iPhone

Sending a voice text message on an iPhone is a quick and easy process. Open the Messages app and select the contact you want to send the voice text to. Tap on the text box at the bottom to bring up the keyboard. Then, touch and hold the microphone icon on the bottom right of the keyboard. This will activate the audio recording feature in the Messages app. Speak your voice message and when you are done, simply lift your finger off the microphone icon to stop recording and automatically send the voice message as an audio file (Apple Support).

The recipient will receive an audio file they can simply play to listen to your voice text message. They can also reply with their own audio message in the same thread if they wish. Voice messages on iPhone allow you to communicate quickly and conveniently without having to type everything out.

Sending voice texts on Android

Sending voice text messages on Android devices is easy via the default Messages app or third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Here are the basic steps to record and send a voice text using an Android device:

  • Open your Messages app on Android. This is typically the default messaging app for text messages.
  • Tap on the message thread where you want to send the voice text.
  • Tap on the microphone icon to start recording your voice message. Depending on the app, this may be a stand-alone microphone icon or part of the text input field.
  • Record your voice text message. On most apps you can record up to a few minutes.
  • Once finished, tap the ‘send’ icon to deliver the voice text. The recording will instantly transmit as an audio file in the message thread.

That’s the quick process for how to record and send voice texts on Android devices using Messages or other popular messaging apps. With the microphone icon, you can easily capture an audio snippet and send it off to any contact.

Voice text features

Today’s voice text apps typically have a few key features that aim to improve the voice messaging experience:

  • Built-in recording – Allowing you to record audio within the message screen.
  • Playback before sending – Letting you listen to the recording to confirm it sounds right before hitting send.
  • Delete and re-record – Giving you the option to delete any recording and try again if you make a mistake or don’t like how it sounds.
  • Audio effects and filters – Some apps provide fun voice filters or audio effects you can apply to change how your voice sounds.

These features aim to give you more control in crafting the perfect voice message before sending it off. Listening back and re-recording as needed helps ensure your intent and tone come across clearly to the recipient.

Voice text etiquette

When sending voice texts, it is important to follow proper etiquette to ensure the messages are brief, clear, and courteous to the recipient.

According the article on phone etiquette from the Wall Street Journal, voice texts should be kept under 30 seconds. This helps keep the message succinct. Speak clearly when recording your voice text and find a quiet location without too much background noise. Before sending, use a text message to let the recipient know you are about to send them a voice recording.

The Emily Post Institute advises being aware that not everyone has unlimited texting plans. By keeping voice messages brief and giving the recipient a heads up, they can listen when convenient without racking up unwanted data usage charges.

Troubleshooting voice texts

If you’re having issues sending voice texts, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Issues sending

If your voice text won’t send, first check that you have a strong data or WiFi connection. Voice texts require a stable internet connection to send properly. Try moving closer to your router or toggling Airplane mode on and off to reset the connection.

Audio quality

Background noise, echo, mumbling, and speaking too fast can all cause voice text transcription issues. Try re-recording your message in a quiet environment while speaking slowly and clearly into the microphone. Get close to the mic and make sure nothing is blocking it.

Not delivered

If your recipient says they never received your voice text, the issues may be on their end. Make sure they have voice messaging enabled in their messaging app and a stable internet connection. Certain messaging platforms may have intermittent voice text issues.

For more voice text troubleshooting tips, check your messaging app’s help documentation or contact their customer support.

Voice text accessibility

Voice texts can present accessibility challenges for some users, especially those with hearing impairments. However, there are features built into iOS and Android, as well as third-party apps, that can aid in transcribing voice messages or generating captions.

On iOS devices, Apple’s Live Listen feature can redirect voice messages from the iPhone directly to Made for iPhone hearing aids. Users can adjust the volume and microphone direction as needed. The iPhone can also caption phone calls in real-time with a feature called Phone Noise Cancellation. While not specific to voice messages, this shows iOS’ capabilities for transcribing speech [1].

Android devices have a feature called Live Transcribe that can automatically caption voice messages after speaking has finished. The text transcript appears on the screen for easy reading. Google also offers an app called Live Caption that provides real-time captioning for voice messages and other audio [2].

Third-party apps like InnoCaption offer automated voice message transcription for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. is another option that can generate live captions as the message plays. Exploring accessibility apps can help voice texts be more usable for all [3].

With some adjustments, voice texts can become an accessible communication method for many. Built-in features, third party apps, volume controls, and proper captions open voice messaging to wider audiences.

Privacy considerations

While voice texts can be convenient, it’s important to be aware that they may not have the same level of privacy as other messaging options. Unlike encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp or Signal, voice texts sent through SMS, phone carriers, or apps like Google Voice are typically not end-to-end encrypted. This means there is a risk that voice texts could potentially be intercepted or accessed by third parties.

For this reason, it’s wise to use caution when sending sensitive information over voice text. The contents of an unencrypted voice text are essentially the same as leaving a voicemail, which could be overheard or accessed if someone compromised your phone or account. While hacking a single phone may be unlikely, privacy advocates recommend treating voice texts more like postcards than sealed letters when it comes to sharing private details.

If you want to ensure voice messages remain private, using an encrypted app like Signal or WhatsApp is a safer choice. With end-to-end encryption, the message contents are only accessible to the sender and recipient. Overall, being aware of the privacy tradeoffs with voice texts can help you make informed choices about what communication channels to use for different types of conversations.

The Future of Voice Texts

Voice texts are expected to grow in popularity and usage in the coming years. According to a survey by Preply, 41% of people have noticed an increase in voice texts over recent years.1 As more people become accustomed to communicating via audio, voice texts will likely see increased adoption across all age groups.

New features for voice messaging apps are also anticipated. Integration with virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant may allow hands-free recording and playback of voice texts.2 Real-time transcription for voice messages is another potential innovation.

Businesses are expected to make greater use of voice texts for customer service and internal communications. Voice messages can convey more personality and emotion compared to written text. They allow for more natural back-and-forth conversation without typing.

Overall, as technology improves and habits change, voice texts seem poised to grow as a preferred means of communication for many situations. Their convenience and expressiveness will likely make them an increasingly common part of how we connect in the digital era.

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