Update lets Apple's voice assistant transcribe and send messages, and read replies.

By Barb Darrow
April 25, 2017

The latest iOS update to the popular WhatsApp messaging app lets Apple Siri transcribe and send messages and read the responses back to you.

The voice activation comes in Version 2.17.20 of the app, which appeared in the iTunes store on April 21, and the new feature was soon noticed by the Macrumors tech news site. It requires Apple iOS version 10.3 or later to work.

Also new to the WhatsApp update is Persian language support and tweaks to the Calls, Contact Info and Group Info screens.

Social networking giant Facebook fb purchased WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion in cash and stock three years ago. The messaging app, which was wildly popular, lets users with iPhones, Android or BlackBerry devices, and other smartphones send texts and photos without paying carrier fees. At the time of the acquisition, WhatsApp claimed 450 million users; Facebook’s most recent stats put that number at 1.2 billion.

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While this is a big step forward for the Apple aapl universe, people with Android phones have been able to use voice to send WhatsApp messages since 2015.

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