Say What? Siri Voicemail Transcription Means Text, Not Talk

siri voicemail transcription

Voicemail, you probably have a love-hate relationship with this technology, especially if a caller blocks his or her ID and you don’t know who it is. But, it is a useful tool and companies have been trying to improve how customers use voicemail by bringing it into the 21st century.

The latest company to make the attempt is Apple. The tech giant will be using Siri to transcribe your voicemail messages so you can read instead of listen to them.

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So, what is the difference between listening and reading your voicemail?

According to Business Insider, which reported the news, it’s a productivity and generational thing.

From a productivity standpoint, it takes much less time to read an email of a transcribed voicemail message than to listen to the recorded message itself.

From a generational standpoint, older users prefer listening to voicemail, while younger users don’t.

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Called iCloud Voicemail, the new service will use Siri to answer your call if you are not able to talk. The recorded message is sent to Apple’s servers and it is converted to text, which will be promptly sent to your iPhone in an email.

As the computing power of mobile devices continues to increase and 4G LTE networks finalize their deployments, voice services of all kinds via smartphone are likely to become more and more effective.

For Apple, iCloud Voicemail transcription is an attempt to improve Siri’s capabilities. The reason for that may be driven by Microsoft’s Cortana, now available in Windows 10, and Google Now. Both companies have integrated innovative voice technology to anticipate users’ needs and to make recommendations and/or answer their queries through voice.

The new iCloud Voicemail is scheduled to be released in 2016, but don’t get your hopes up yet. Google Voice, launched back in 2009, has had a similar service for years now, but the technology has sometimes left much to be desired.

In this comical experiment conducted by deputy technology news editor of the New York Times David F. Gallagher, Google Voice transcribed “the sky” as “this guy,” “Google” as “cool” and “Louisville, Kentucky” as “louise open tacky.”

Obviously, Apple will try to do better.

Image: Apple/YouTube 4 Comments ▼

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

4 Reactions
  1. I look forward to iCloud voicemail as a transcript service for book writing. I can talk in stuff and then transfer it into text. Do you think it will be able to compete with dictation services, e.g., Dragon?

  2. Hi Martin,
    I don’t know if you know this, but Siri uses Nuance. That is the company that makes Dragon Naturally Speaking, so I see it being just as good, maybe even better if Apple adds its own technology.

  3. Cloud Voicemail will presumably function in the same way, sending the raw voicemails to Apple, and Siri will then transcribe them and make them available on your iPhone. State f.addEventListener?