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(Pocket-lint) - WhatsApp is working on two new features for arrival on the platform, voice message transcription and end-to-end encryption of cloud backups.

The former was first spotted by WABetaInfo, as many of these upcoming WhatsApp features often are, in a developer build of the iOS app, with the feature set to be optional for those who grant speech recognition access. 

"We're in the very early stages of designing and prototyping voice message transcription. We're a long way from being able to offer this feature, but, if we do roll it out, it will be protected by end-to-end encryption," a WhatsApp spokesperson told us. 

At least initially, it appeared as though the voice data wouldn't be shared with Facebook, but would still be handled by Apple (who may also benefit and improve its speech recognition technology). WhatsApp's insistence on end-to-end encryption, though, would see the feature potentially retain its privacy and security.

WhatsApp tells us there are no plans to actually launch the feature at this early stage, also, but we'll keep an eye out to see if this is one that continues to progress in developer builds.

With regard to end-to-end encryption for cloud backups, the situation is a little more advanced, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirming last week that WhatsApp will be the "first global messaging service at this scale to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging and backups" to users.

Like voice message transcription, this is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, and should allow users on either operating system the ability to encrypt the backups stored in Google Drive or iCloud.

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Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 13 September 2021.