Reports suggest that Apple is working on a big update to Siri, which could give the virtual assistant a skill that’s truly fit for its title: taking phone calls for you. If you aren’t around, or even if just don’t want to talk, this feature would allow Siri to not just answer the call, but also utilize its smarts in speech recognition to transcribe the voicemail left by the caller into plain text. In order to process the speech, the voicemail data will be routed through Apple’s servers, just as every other thing you bark to Siri does.
It’s rumored that this new service through which your voicemails are transcribed and delivered will be called iCloud Voicemail. But transcription won’t be the only new trick coming to iCloud. If you let Siri pick up your call, it will be able to provide relevant contextual information as to why you weren’t able to pick up the phone, such as where you’re located and what you’re up to, if you choose to share that info.
This feature, if it ever surfaces, will be a big deal for iPhone owners. But Apple’s go at voicemail transcription isn’t the first. The Google Voice service has been providing its users with transcribed voicemails for some time. Despite not being the pioneer, Apple has an opportunity one-up Google’s efforts by baking its iCloud Voicemail transcription service into iOS.
Apple employees have only just begun to use the service internally, according to Business Insider. Considering that iOS 9 is set to launch at next month’s Apple event, it’s more realistic that we’ll see iCloud Voicemail and an even smarter Siri in iOS 10.
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Cameron is a writer at The Verge, focused on reviews, deals coverage, and news. He wrote for magazines and websites such as The Verge, TechRadar, Practical Photoshop, Polygon, Eater and Al Bawaba.