Apple Prepping Siri-Powered Voicemail Transcriptions

Apple Prepping Siri-Powered Voicemail Transcriptions

The service would transcribe incoming voicemail into messages for easier consumption.

Voicemail is a pain in the neck, and Apple has decided to do something about it. The company is testing a new way to transcribe spoken messages and send the contents to iPhone owners via text.

Apple is prepared to use Siri and iCloud to change the voicemail experience, according to a report in Business Insider. Rather than allow calls to go to the carrier’s service, Siri will answer incoming calls. Callers can leave a message as they normally would. The voice recording is sent to Apple’s iCloud computers, where it is transcribed and returned to the iPhone owner as a text message.

The idea is to let people read their messages instead of dialing in and listening to them, tasks people are often loath to perform.

That’s not all iCloud Voicemail will do. Users can have Siri tell select callers where they are and why they might not have been able to pick up the phone. The service is still being tested by Apple employees. It isn’t expected to launch until 2016.

This won’t be the first time Apple has futzed with voicemail. The original iPhone brought with it visual voicemail, a revelation at the time. Rather than force people to dial into their carrier’s system and listen to each message in the order received, visual voicemail let iPhone owners see who called, who left messages, and then listen to those messages in any order they chose. Visual voicemail is now common to most smartphones.

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