How to Send Voice Messages on iPhone with iOS 16

Voice notes in iMessage won’t trouble your finger anymore!

Have you ever tried to send a voice message in iMessages on your iPhone? You’ll agree that it wasn’t Apple’s best design choice. Sending longer voice messages was a downright miserable experience.

If you’re unaware of what we’re talking about, here’s a refresher – to record voice messages in iMessage, you had to keep holding down the Voice Message icon. As soon as you lifted your finger, the recording would stop. And if the lift wasn’t intentional, you’d either have to discard the recording and start over or send multiple, broken recordings. But here’s some good news to brighten your day – Apple has redesigned the Voice Message feature in iOS 16.

There’s no need to keep holding the Voice Message button anymore. But the icon has been moved to a new place. If you haven’t been able to figure out how to send a voice note in iMessage anymore for that reason, don’t fret. Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is the New Audio Message Button in iMessages?

As mentioned before, the Voice Message button has been relocated in iOS 16 from its traditional place on the right of the message field. You’ll still see a ‘Microphone’ icon where you have come to expect the Voice Message button, but in a strange turn of events, this button now activates Voice Typing.

Since dictation has also got a major overhaul this year, it seems like the motivation behind this reason. The Voice Message button has become an iMessage app and moved to the iMessage app drawer instead. You don’t have to add the app from the App Store to access it like other apps in the app drawer, though. You can directly access the ‘Audio Messages’ app after moving to iOS 16.

Sending a Voice Message using the Audio Messages App

Open the Messages app on your iPhone running iOS 16. Then, open the group or individual iMessage chat where you want to send the voice note.

If the App Drawer is collapsed, tap the ‘App Drawer’ icon on the left of the message field.

Then, tap the ‘Audio’ button. It’s the blue button with the waveform symbol.

The Audio Messages app will open below the app drawer. Tap the ‘Microphone’ icon to begin recording.

Once you’re done recording, tap the ‘Stop’ button.

The audio message will load in the message box. To listen to the recording, tap the ‘Play’ button.

Tap the ‘Send’ button (blue arrow) to send the voice message if you’re satisfied with it or the ‘X’ button on the left of the message field to discard it.

You can also send short voice messages by holding down the microphone. If you keep holding the microphone down, the message will send as soon as you lift your finger. You cannot play the recording to review it before sending it, as with the above option.

You can cancel it, though. Without lifting your finger, move your finger away from the microphone in any direction. The ‘Send’ button will transform into the ‘Cancel’ button. Lift your finger now to cancel the recording. If you bring your finger back toward the microphone in the center, the cancel button will transform into the send button again.

But even if you end up sending a recording you wanted to cancel, you can use the ‘Undo Send’ option in iOS 16. But keep in mind it’ll only work if the recipient is also on iOS 16.


It’s become easier to send voice messages in iMessage with iOS 16. But the voice messages will still automatically expire after two minutes unless you explicitly choose to keep it in the chat or change the settings; that hasn’t changed yet.