For over a year and a half now, WhatsApp has supported voice messaging - but yet we’re all still texting each other. Is this the 00’s? In a world full of voice commands and virtual assistants built into our phones, why do we still type out our messages? Is it through a lack of knowing how to use the feature? Well, I’m here to clear all that up for you… Also see: New WhatsApp hoax surfaces, how to use WhatsApp on the Web, what do the two blue ticks mean, WhatsApp ban - what you should know and how to get WhatsApp on an iPad or Android tablet.

How to sending voice messages on WhatsApp

WhatsApp’s voice messaging feature is almost a thing of beauty. It’s a pretty straightforward process to send a voice message and is  useful in situations where you have a lot to say but don't want to spend 5 minutes typing. All you have to do is open a conversation with a friend then tap & hold the Microphone icon in the bottom right hand corner. Your message will be recorded and when you’re done talking, just let go of the button and it’ll be sent. Can't see the voice message icon? Make sure there’s no text in the message field because when you start to type, the icon disappears.

What happens if you mess up the message? People do get tongue tied, after all. Well the guys at WhatsApp thought of that too; if you want to cancel the recording, all you need to do is slide your finger to the left and the recording will be deleted.

WhatsApp recently added the much welcomed (or dreaded, depending on your opinion) read receipts, popular on other messaging apps like iMessage or Blackberry Messenger. The read receipt is also available for voice messages – the icon will initally be green when you send a voice message but once a friend has listened to it, the icon will turn blue. Nice and simple.

How to receive voice messages on WhatsApp

Listening to a received a voice message on WhatsApp is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Once you receive a voice message, simply press the play button to listen. By default, it’ll come out through your speakerphone but if, like me, you hate people listening to your voice messages then you can lift the phone to your ear and it’ll play through the receiver, like a normal phone call. Once you’ve listened to the message, the green icon will turn blue to let you know that you’ve listened to it.

WhatsApp reportedly handles 200 million voice messages per day so it’s a hugely popular part of the service. Personally, I’d love for WhatsApp to let you automatically record a reply if you’ve got the phone to your ear (similar to what Apple offers with its voice messaging feature). It’d make the whole experience more natural and phone call-esque – the distraction of taking my phone away from my ear to hold the record button can make me forget what has just been said, not to mention that it feels a lot more awkward than it should.