According to a new report, Apple is said to be working on integrating voicemail into iCloud, bringing about some of the biggest advancements since visual voicemail on the first iPhone. This information comes from Business Insider, which says the primary feature will be Siri’s ability to transcribe voicemails into text, letting users read their messages instead of listen to the audio. Even more interesting, this iCloud Voicemail will deliver custom messages to select callers, and even let them know the user’s location.
According to the descriptions of how iCloud Voicemail will work, it sounds like Siri is poised to surpass being just a virtual assistant, and become a full-fledged virtual secretary. When a user is not able to answer a call, the incoming caller will turned over to Siri, not just an audio recorder following a beep.
From there, if a user chooses, Siri will give select callers a message about why they can’t answer the phone and where they are located. Once the caller leaves a message with Siri, it will be transcribed into text on Apple’s servers.
The system said to be in limited testing now within Apple, with Business Insidersaying it’s targeted for release in 2016, making it a potential feature for iOS 10.
There’s certainly still a lot to be worked out about the service, such as if it will still be limited to certain carriers like visual voicemail is now, or if it will be free, as opposed to carriers charging extra. Plus, there would still need to be some improvement in the transcription technology, for while Siri may be getting some improvements later this year with iOS 9, we all have that experience where it writes something incoherent when we’re dictating a text message.