Google Chat to gain support for voice messages, and it's about time

Google Chat logo on mobile
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is actively working on supporting voice messages in Google Chat, and the feature is expected to debut soon.
  • The functionality was first announced last month under the name Audio Snippets.
  • Voice messages currently work in the Google Chat app for Android after enabling an unknown flag. 

Google Chat will soon support voice messages, and the feature is expected to debut sometime in the first quarter of this year. Voice messages are a highly-requested option for Google Chat, and they are closer than ever to a public rollout. AssembleDebug activated the feature in the Google Chat for Android app by enabling a flag, as detailed in a report on TheSpAndroid

Voice messages were first revealed to be coming to Google Chat in December. Google announced the feature, officially called audio snippets, in a YouTube video on the Google Workspace channel. 

"This is a feature that a lot of customers have asked us [for]," said Rachit Aggarwal, the engineering director for Google Chat and Google Cloud. "Chat is evolving from a text-based communication app to something that supports multimedia modalities as well. So if you have a lot to say but you don't have enough time, send an audio snippet."

After activating the flag, which remains unknown, AssembleDebug was able to access the audio snippet option in Google Chat. There will be a new microphone option to the right of the photos icon, and it replaces the current send message button.

The UI for snippets in Google Chat.

(Image credit: TheSpAndroid)

Once pressed, the microphone button will open up a new recorder UI for the audio snippets. This UI offers delete, pause, and send buttons to help you manage your audio snippets. These snippets, which are just voice memos, are available in both Google Chat and Gmail. 

Google is still clearly refining audio snippets. According to the report, the voice recorder in Google Chat will send audio snippets as .m4a audio files. AssembleDebug says that this is fixed in the Gmail app but is presumably still abnormal behavior in the Google Chat app. 

Google Chat and Google Spaces are primarily used by the Google Workspace community in the business world. Many other workspace communication services, like Slack, have had voice memos for a while. They're a convenient way to respond to messages without needing to type out a lengthy response. 

The fact that a flag has enabled audio snippets in Google Chat and Gmail points to an impending release for the feature. Since it's expected to roll out sometime this quarter, Google appears to be on track for the release of audio snippets.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.