Apple working on iCloud Voicemail which uses Siri to transcribe voicemails

“Apple is testing a new service that uses Siri to transcribe voicemails, according to a report from Business Insider,” James Vincent reports for The Verge.

“The feature is supposedly part of a new service named iCloud Voicemail that allows users to set custom voicemail responses, letting certain callers know where they are and why they can’t take their call,” Vincent reports. “It seems that this particular feature is far from ready, with Business Insider claiming that iCloud Voicemail isn’t scheduled to launch until 2016.”

Vincent reports, “Despite the obvious benefits (leaving a voicemail is easy but listening to one is tedious), automatic transcriptions have yet to catch on, most likely because of accuracy problems.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ve used OS X’s Dictation to transcribe audio to text for things like Apple commercials and portions of keynotes for quite some time now. Especially in the current iteration (OS X Yosemite), it works okay. Not perfectly, just okay. Of course, the commercial audio is professionally recorded and edited from the best of multiple takes, but it does work with live keynotes and voicemail audio, too, so we have high hopes this will make it to iOS as soon as accuracy is taken the final, most difficult mile.

Note: We do also use the F5 Transcription app (free) for OS X to transcribe media we have on our Macs as it gives us much more control than simply playing back audio into our Macs’ microphones and using OS X’s bare-bones built-in Dictation tool.


  1. I connect my iPhone to my motorcycles audio system. I wish Siri would speak to me my text messages and first x number of words in my emails from people on my vip list.

    I don’t want to be able to reply while riding. But if I hear something important, I can pull over and respond.

      1. Kinda hard to do while riding a motorcycle.

        Be nice to have a setting to read them automatically when they come in. Again, I connect my iPhone via bluetooth to my motorcycle so I can listen to it. I don’t want to reply to these messages, but if I hear something important, I could pull over and reply.

  2. yeah… since everyone else has been doing this for years… This is a service I’ve enjoyed from Vonage since I started using them for my home phone, may years ago..

    Should be easy….

  3. Accuracy will always be a problem when voice messages include mumbled or slurred speech, dropouts and background noise. When a human can’t understand, how well would you expect software to interpret?

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