Voice messages are a godsend when you don't want to type. You can directly send a voice message in iMessage on your iPhone. And over the years, Apple has vastly improved the interface for sending a voice message.

If you remember, a couple of years ago, the flow for sending a voice message 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 in iOS 15 or before, 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 weren’t intentional, you’d either have to discard the recording and start over or send multiple, broken recordings. But that's no longer the case. Sending a voice message is a breeze. Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is the Audio Message Button in iMessage in iOS 17?

Since iOS 16, the Voice Message button has been relocated from its traditional place on the right of the message field. You’ll still see a ‘Microphone’ icon next to the message field, but in a strange turn of events, this button now activates Voice Typing. Since dictation has also undergone a major overhaul in the past couple of years, it seems like the motivation behind this reason.

The Voice Message option is now accessible from the iMessage app drawer instead, which itself got an overhaul in iOS 17. 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 it.

Sending a Voice Message using the Audio Messages App

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone running iOS 17. Then, open the group or individual iMessage chat where you want to send the voice note.
  2. Then, tap the '+' icon on the left of the message box to access the iMessage app drawer.
  3. Next, tap the ‘Audio’ button.
  1. The voice message will begin recording right away, and you'll be able to see it in the message field.
  2. To pause or stop the recording, tap the ‘Stop’ button.
  3. The audio message will load in the message box. To listen to the recording, tap the ‘Play’ button.
  1. To continue recording, tap the '+' button at the end of the voice message (with the message duration).
  2. 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.
  1. The voice message will be sent, with a transcript (if the language supports it).
  2. The option for recording a voice message will also start appearing at the right of the text message field to make it easier to send voice messages. But it will be replaced by the dictation microphone again if you use that feature again. Basically, what you use last in a particular chat will appear next to the message field.
  3. The voice messages you send are automatically deleted after 2 minutes (from your end). You can tap the 'Keep' button to save an audio message from being deleted.

    The recipient can listen to the audio message at any time. But after listening to the message, it will be deleted after 2 minutes, unless they choose to save it using the 'Keep' button as well.
  4. If you change your mind after sending a recording, you can use the ‘Undo Send’ option which appears after holding the sent message. You can also save sent and received audio messages to voice memos on your iPhone.

Sending voice messages in iMessage is now completely hassle-free. But the voice messages will still automatically expire after two minutes unless you explicitly choose to keep it in the chat or change this behavior settings; that hasn’t changed yet, and it's unlikely it ever will.