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Employees at Apple are reportedly putting a new service through its paces, one that would allow Siri to not only answer a missed call instead of a pre-set voicemail message, but give her the ability to record and transcribe those message for users to read as text later (via Business Insider). The messages would be sent to users via iCloud, completely skipping the need to check voicemail.

sirisuggestions.jpg

The so-called "iCloud Voicemail" service could relay information regarding where a user is and specifics as to why they can't pick up the phone, if given the permission to do so. According to Business Insider, "multiple Apple employees" are testing the new feature and if it stays on track, it could see a debut sometime in 2016 in iOS 10.
Apple's proposed solution is both incredibly simple and incredibly clever: People like to leave voicemails (it's often quicker to orally deliver your information than it is to type it in a text message). But they don't like to receive voicemails (it's a lot quicker to read a text than it is to listen to the other person talking at you). The new product will also bridge a generation gap: Older users like voicemails. Young people do not.

Apple sends voice data to company servers, where Siri converts the words spoken into text. iCloud Voicemail will presumably function in the same way, sending the raw voicemails to Apple, and Siri will then transcribe them and make them available on your iPhone.
Apple has doubled-down on Siri ever since the digital assistant's debut, with this year's launch of iOS 9 -- focusing mainly on performance enhancements and subtle design changes -- seeing Siri at the heart of the changes. The new iOS will allow the personal assistant to create contextual reminders, search more thoroughly through photos and videos, and grant users an easily-accessible curated list of contacts and apps in "Siri Suggestions," a quick left-swipe from the home screen.

Article Link: Apple Testing Service That Allows Siri to Answer Calls and Transcribe Voicemail
 

Haynzee

macrumors regular
Mar 13, 2012
101
45
Just wish Apple would make some Siri features available offline. The old voice control allowed you to call people, skip music etc, but Siri just throws the offline error, very annoying when you are driving in an area with no data.
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,534
25,288
Just wish Apple would make some Siri features available offline. The old voice control allowed you to call people, skip music etc, but Siri just throws the offline error, very annoying when you are driving in an area with no data.

Looks like you beat me to the punch, I definitely agree about offline capabilities. It's practically the most important thing that Siri needs to do: a quick response when you don't have Wi-Fi or you have flaky signal. Normally when you most need the offline features are when you're driving or something.

Also Siri doesn't seem to be able to search for directions based on postcode, at least it didn't for me ... apparently my house doesn't exist.
 

JAQ

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2008
302
71
Purgatory MI
Transcribing your voice messages would be nice. (Vonage does that for me on my home phone.) But what's the benefit of having the Siri voice answering your calls instead of your own? Is she going to do anything more than show off the fact that you have an iPhone?
 

peterh988

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2011
623
1,024
But what's the benefit of having the Siri voice answering your calls instead of your own? Is she going to do anything more than show off the fact that you have an iPhone?

Personally, I'd like Siri, or some sort of system, that's capable of answering "No Caller ID" calls with a message that states I don't answer such calls (invariably they're sales calls) so leave a message if you're a genuine caller or call back without blocking your number. All without ringing at my end.

Works well with my landline phone.
 

peterdevries

macrumors 68040
Feb 22, 2008
3,146
1,134
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Just wish Apple would make some Siri features available offline. The old voice control allowed you to call people, skip music etc, but Siri just throws the offline error, very annoying when you are driving in an area with no data.

Yep, they could definitely enable some basic phone controlling functionality off-line too. They could cache the conversation and send it when there is connectivity again if they need the diagnostic information to improve recognition,
 
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supremedesigner

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2005
826
341
Gainesville, Fl
That's fantastic news! This will be huge to deaf and hard of hearing people as well as people who are too lazy to check their voicemails ;) I relied heavily on Google Voice on iPhone for audio-to-text which has been really good so far.

One more thing that's not mentioned in this article is that the new iOS 9 will have the ability to send the voicemail audio file via share sheet (iMessage, mail, etc.) which is huge!

Thank you Apple!
 

east85

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,343
495
Transcription will be a catch-up to Google. Google's neural network AI is already improving Google Voice transcription substantially. Still an interesting development, if this comes to fruition I wonder what perks Siri will offer for answering missed phone calls apart from transcription and location.
 

supremedesigner

macrumors 6502a
Dec 9, 2005
826
341
Gainesville, Fl
Apple is so innovative. Always first to the market with new ideas. How to they think of such things?

*cough* Google Voice *cough*

When something isn't marketing heavily from Google (they're really not good at marketing stuffs like this), then Apple market heavily and take over. These happened: Google Wallet for Apple Pay, etc.
 

Daalseth

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2012
569
236
I've never been a fan of Siri, or any of these voice agents. I just find them awkward, I'd rather type than chatter at my device. This however, might be useful.
 
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jmgregory1

macrumors 68030
If they can make Siri answer calls where the level of AI allows each message to be related to the person calling or provide a reason why you can't pick up the phone, that would be really cool and super useful for both parties.

Imagine that you're out running, and a call comes in. You could have Siri tell the caller you cannot pick up the call because you are traveling / running / indisposed and that you'll call back in X minutes (calculated based upon your average run length times).

Or when you turn on do not disturb, the message lets the caller know you are in a meeting.

It's another one of those things that seem so basic, but Apple is pushing Tech ahead in ways that are likely to be the norm in a year or two. And then we will be talking about how Google or Samsung came up with the idea or that their implementation is or is not infringing on Apple's IP.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,395
Can't wait for the first "Siri rats out cheating <boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife>" story or maybe some sort of Ferris Beuller's Day Off @ Wrigley scene scenario. That'll be fun. Oops I didn't know you had to disable that feature. Ha. Ha.

Seriously, is this something people want? I know I would turn it off first thing... like almost everything iCloud except bookmarks. And judging from Google Voice, which Google has been tinkering with for years, I doubt the VM transcription will come off anything but sounding like a Mad Libs creation.

Meanwhile, if I want to know something practical like the heat index or humidity outside Siri just sends me to Wikipedia.
 

Tech198

macrumors P6
Mar 21, 2011
15,916
2,148
Australia, Perth
voice to text with siri.. u may be right with "accuracy"

Siri has trouble even with non-english languages... I can't see anything being 100% effective with voice to text... There is always going to be a gap (for now)

However, by the time 100% Accuracy comes, i'll be an old man, but still listening to twit.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,879
28,980
Meanwhile, if I want to know something practical like the heat index or humidity outside Siri just sends me to Wikipedia.
Hmm...I just asked Siri what the current dew point was and Siri told me it was 52F and showed me the hourly forecast. Siri never sends me to Wikipedia when I ask weather related questions.
 
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