Business Insider is reporting that Apple employees are currently testing a new feature in iOS that could help bridge the gap between people who like using voicemail and people who don’t.
The Death of Voicemail
Apple plans to use Siri’s speech-to-text transcription abilities in order to relay Voicemail directly to the user without them having to go in and actually accessing the feature. This is a great solution since people either love Voicemail or hate it. Business Insider correctly assumes that most people like to leave voicemails because they’re quick and easy, but people receiving voicemails typically don’t like to stop what they’re doing, and dial into their Voicemail to receive information that could be easily be received through a simple text. Apple’s solution gives users the best of both worlds.
How Will the Process Work?
The whole process is relatively simple on the user’s end, though there are obviously more complex things going on behind the scenes. When makes a phone call that isn’t received by who they are trying to call, Siri will answer the phone call rather than having the call be picked up by a regular audio receiver.
The report says that the iCloud Voicemail system that Siri will be utilizing has the ability to tell the caller where the receiving user is and why they aren’t able to pick up the phone — a feature that is hopefully optional. But the gist is that Siri will listen to the caller’s message and transcribe it in a text message.
Apple will most likely be using the same process Siri already uses in order to transcribe speech-to-text when users send oral text messages. So, while Apple has stated that Siri is due for another upgrade when iOS 9 hits, don’t expect messages to be perfect every time.
The Release Schedule
Apple isn’t the first to utilize a function like this. Google Voice users have had this function for years, though the messages are mostly useless unless the caller speaks incredibly clear.
Apple is currently prepping the new voicemail feature for a release sometime in 2016.