If you’re anything like me, you’ve cut more than a few WeChat contacts out of your lives forever, after they sent you a long, unsolicited voice message. Call me antisocial but there’s truly never been a more obnoxious way for people to blow off steam at the expense of others.
The ominous red dot that appears next to an un-listened-to message has made slaves of us all, forcing us to click like a helpless dog in a Pavlovian experiment, while at the same time reminded us of exactly how many precious seconds of your life we will waste listening to someone talking to themselves. Not only do you resent the sender for the imposition, you start to resent yourself for being such a goddamn crybaby.
As we’ve previously reported, users of the Chinese version of WeChat have had the option to convert received voice messages into text for quite a while now, and it looks like the rest of us are finally catching up. WeChat recently rolled out a function on their international version that gives the sender the option to have their message automatically transcribed in the mere press of a button. Needless to say, it’s fooking incredible.
There are currently three languages supported: English, Mandarin, and Cantonese, and it couldn’t be easier to use.
Simply hold down the “Hold to Talk” button as you would a regular voice message, speak into the mike, and once you’re done talking instead of releasing your finger to send, slide up to see the options to “Cancel” or “Convert.” Select Convert, and you will be presented with a transcript of what you said. Click on it to edit if necessary, or go ahead and send it as-is, you crazy kid.
We subjected the function to various childish experiments transcribing the accents of the world, and we’re happy to report that it fared rather well. We won’t go into the privacy concerns of Tencent, and therefore possibly the government, having your vocal blueprints, because a) they probably already have them, and b) Jesus, we need at least one glimmer of hope on this crumbling planet.
Finally, even though the option exists, it’s not to say that people will use it – if there’s one thing history has proven, it’s that progress is non-linear and people are jerks, so we may have to wait until WeChat finally grants international users the ability to transcribe already-sent VM’s before we’re truly free of its tyrannical grasp.
Images: the Beijinger