Apple appears to be slowly rolling out its new voicemail transcription feature to iOS 10 beta users, as the feature just appeared on my iPhone 6s in the last few minutes.
Voicemail transcription is exactly like it sounds: it processes audio from voicemails and displays the message in text form right from within the voicemail interface inside the built-in Phone app.
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There are no settings or switches that you’ll need to enable to turn voicemail transcription on. You will, however, need to be using visual voicemail, which is available via most carriers.
To view a transcribed message, simply tap on an individual voicemail within the Voicemail tab of the Phone app. Doing so will display a Transcription Beta header with the transcribed voicemail underneath.
Some transcribed messages will get tagged with a Transcription Beta (low confidence) header when the transcription service has a difficult time transcribing the words spoken on the voicemail. Other more legible transcriptions do not come with the (low confidence) tag.
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Beneath each transcription, there is an area where users can provide feedback about the transcription. If the transcription was useful, users can tap the useful link. If the transcription didn’t provide legible text, users can tap the not useful link and will have the option of sending the voicemail to Apple to help improve transcription accuracy.
There’s a reason why it’s called beta
Apple warns, via a pop up, that users should not submit recordings if they believe that the speaker would not want their message submitted to Apple. This goes along with the company’s staunch outlook on user privacy.
Transcribed voicemails are also viewable via the interactive notifications on the Home screen, Lock screen, and from banner notifications.
Although some users have been able to view transcriptions via notifications, the feature has not yet propagated to my iPhone 6s.
If you speak slowly and extra clearly, transcription works well
Older voicemails received prior to the update do not receive transcriptions; instead they simply note the following: Transcription not available. Text from transcriptions can be copied using the standard iOS clipboard tools.
What are your thoughts on voicemail transcription? Is this a feature that you plan on taking advantage of in the future?