Rumor: Siri-powered iCloud Voicemail that transcribes messages due in 2016 with iOS 10

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