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Smartphones & gadgets

Better than texting! How to record and send audio messages

Have you ever gotten tired of texting? Maybe your thumbs felt sore after typing a six-paragraph-long dissertation of your day. Or maybe you’re sick of squinting at your tiny phone screen to spot typos.

Good news: You can just speak to your phone and send a message straight to your friends and family. It’s like a one-way phone call. Speaking of calls, tap or click here to start sending calls from your computer, laptop or tablet.

So whether you’ve got an iPhone or an Android, we’ve got the steps to help you get started with audio messages. Get ready to save a ton of time you’ve otherwise have spent texting!

Sending audio messages with your iPhone

When you’re texting from your iPhone, sending an audio message is as easy as a tap of the button. That is, as long you’re texting someone who also has an iPhone. It’s a bit more tricky if your friend has an Android.

First, here’s how to send an audio message from one iPhone to another. When you open up a conversation with your friend, tap the icon just to the right of your text box.

You’ll see the recording icon to the right of every message you type.

Make sure to keep your finger on the button while you talk. You’ll see sound waves reflecting your voice go across the screen while you speak. When you’re done with your message, release your finger.

Now that your recording is done, you’ll see a play button. Above that, there’s an upward arrow, which you can tap if you want to send the message immediately. If you want to listen to your recording, just tap on the play button. Hit the X button to delete your recording.

To send it off, just hit the upward pointing arrow.

Watch out, though: Once your message is out, it will disappear in two minutes. This is an automatic feature you can undo, however. If you want to keep the voice message in the conversation, navigate to your Settings app.

  • Tap on Messaging and scroll down to Audio Messages.
  • Then, tap on Expire. Here, you can change the default expiration time from two minutes to never.

Remember, you can’t use this trick when you’re sending texts to Android phones. The screen will look different. Check out the text box, for example:

Now, there’s no recording icon to the right of your text box. Instead, there’s just a green arrow.

So, you can’t use the Messaging app’s recording feature to send an audio message to an Android phone. However, you do have some clever alternatives. For instance, you can head to the Voice Memo app, which comes baked into every iPhone.

RELATED: 5 essential iOS 12.3 tips and tricks you’ll thank us for

Speak into your phone’s microphone, and you can share that recording as an attachment. Sure, you’re not using the messaging app, but it has the same effect. Your friend with an Android phone will hear your audio recording — you just needed to take one extra step.

Sending audio messages using an Android phone

When you’ve got an Android phone, sending audio messages isn’t quite as easy as a simple tap of the button. Instead, you’ve got three options:

1. Use Android messages

To send audio clips through Google’s stock messenger app, just follow these easy steps.

  1. Under Settings, give Android messages permission to use your microphone.
  2. Open up a conversation.
  3. Hit the green + sign to the left of your text box.
  4. Tap the microphone icon at the bottom of your screen.

Then, just press and hold the button while you record your message. Make sure you don’t speak for too long, though, since there’s a limit.

RELATED: One clear sign your Android has a virus

2. Use a voice recording app

Just like iPhones, Androids also come with default voice recording apps. On your home screen, navigate to the built-in Voice Recorder app. Just hit Record, speak your message and send the audio clip to a friend.

If you don’t want to do this every time, you can also try to use your smartphone’s built-in helper.

3. Use Google Assistant

This is the easiest method of all. First say, “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google.” Then, tell Google Assistant to send an audio message to the person you want to reach. Once you’ve said your contact’s name, Google Assistant will automatically start recording.

Make sure you’ve gathered your thoughts ahead of time, though — the assistant will stop your recording if it notices any long pauses.

Then, Google Assistant will ask if you’re ready to send the recording. Say “Yes” if you’re ready, or say “No” to cancel. Just like Apple users, you have the option to hit the Play button to listen or Cancel to start over.

If you’re looking for more ways to get the most out of your messages, tap or click here for the five best Android apps.

Now you can send audio messages whenever or wherever you like. Whether you’ve got an Android or an iPhone, you can let your fingers rest and start speaking your texts aloud. At the very least, your thumbs will thank you!

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