Apple is looking to add automatic voicemail transcriptions to the next version of iOS, according to a Business Insider report, which states that the company is looking to turn to its Siri mobile assistant to turn voicemails into text messages.
A number of Apple employees are reportedly already testing the new service, which makes Siri answer phone calls instead of sending them to a traditional voicemail. Siri can then tell callers why the phone’s owner can’t get their call right now, transcribe their voicemail, and send the text back to the phone’s owner.
Functionality like this isn’t entirely new: Google has been offering automated voicemail transcriptions with its own Google Voice service for years. But voice recognition technology has improved a lot in recent years, and mobile assistants like Siri and Google Now have helped to familiarize users with voice-driven systems.
Adding voicemail transcription to the mix could help Apple to make Siri even smarter, and in turn also make it easier for users to communicate with small-screen devices like the Apple Watch.