Siri iOS 9

A Siri-powered voicemail service for iPhones is in the works and it will transcribe your voicemail messages, if a report published Monday by Business Insider is anything to go by.

Writer James Cook claims that Apple employees are already testing an upcoming voicemail service “which uses Siri to answer your calls and transcribe voicemail messages.”

He goes on to explain that iCloud will push the text of the transcribed voicemail to a user’s device, “meaning that you’ll never need to listen to your voicemails again.”

The new service should launch in 2016 with iOS 10, sources told the publication.

“When someone using iCloud Voicemail is unable to take a call, Siri will answer instead of letting the call go to a standard digital audio recorder,” reads the article. In addition, iCloud Voicemail can “relay information about where you are and why you can’t pick up the phone to certain people.”

I’m eager to see the service in action and am curious as to the accuracy of speech-to-text for transcribing messages. I’ve been a longtime user of Google Voice which had a similar feature and it left a lot to be desired in terms of the accuracy and reliability of voicemail transcripts.

Of course, Siri-powered speech-to-text used on the Apple Watch works exceptionally well so I don’t foresee any problems in that regard with iCloud Voicemail.

Business Insider’s description would indicate that voice analysis and speech-to-text could happen 100 percent in the cloud. On the other hand, given Apple’s strict stance on user privacy and security, it wouldn’t surprise us if the phone did the heavy lifting with iCloud acting as a service to push transcribed messages to all your other devices.

It’s worth reminding us that Apple doesn’t record contents of our Messages conversations in the cloud nor does the company have the encryption keys that would allow the government to decrypt our communications. Messages archives are only stored as part of a local or iCloud device backup.

In addition, the Messages archive won’t transfer when you restore a device from a backup of another kind of device, like using an iPad backup for an iPhone, unless you’re jailbroken of course.

What do you think about a Siri-powered voicemail service? And when it arrives, will you be using it for transcribing your voicemails?

Source: Business Insider

  • therealjjohnson

    Does this really need to wait until iOS 10? Google voice has been doing this for years now. (Damn it! I sound like a android troll. Im not, I promise!). It does a bad job, but they have been doing it for a while.

    • Sailor_V90

      Totally agree. I feel with Apple it’s more about “update” rather than innovative creativity.

      • You must be aware that revolutionary products only come along very rarely. And when Apple introduces one, they tirelessly iterate on it with evolutionary ideas, nothing wrong with that. I’d rather they wait before releasing something that doing a half-baked implementation which feels like a beta product, like Google does (though Apple Maps obviously felt like a beta when it was released)

      • Sailor_V90

        Yes mate, I am aware it takes times to revolutionize a new product. I am also aware that people take the ideas of others and put their spin on it, it is the history of the world. I never referred to “update” as a bad thing. However, compared to some of the Jailbreaks and the like that I have seen, Apple is not being as innovative or creative. Whatever happened to taking chances, making mistakes and getting messy?

    • nonchalont

      Lol …well Apple will get it right! (Damn it! Now I sound like an Apple Fanboy. I’m not, I promise!). All jokes aside, it seems like a neat feature. Be interesting to see how accurate it works. I never tried the Google Voice.

  • askep3

    This would be so cool! “(Insert your name here) is in a meeting right now? I will remind him to call you back when he/she has time, would you like to leave a message?

  • Anonymous

    i’m okay with waiting, just get it right the first time.

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    Did I catch something off? “He goes on the explain” shouldn’t it be “He goes on to explain”

  • This Guy

    They should do speech to text for phone calls in real time in both directions as well, then people will never actually have to speak to another human ever again. It will be glorious. Technology sure is bringing us together more as a people; isn’t it so great?

  • chjode

    I foresee this feature failing miserably. Neat idea, but Apple’s text-to-speech leaves a lot to be desired.

  • Scribe, a subscription service from HulloMail does this already and works pretty well as long as the caller speaks clearly when leaving a message

  • rubrixgen

    I hope Apple doesn’t call the following update to their mobile OS, iOS 10. IMO I feel that at that point they should change things up a bit. I don’t know. Maybe call their mobile OS, Apple Life, or something refreshing.

  • nyangejr

    I never knew it existed

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