Apple introduced visual voicemail in 2007 as one of the standout features of the original iPhone. In the more than eight years that have elapsed, however, smartphones have ironically evolved into potent portable computers that rely more on video and text-based communications than actually talking.
In those rare instances where you actually do get a voicemail, some can’t even be bothered to listen to it. To bring voicemail into the modern era, Apple is said to be working on a new variant dubbed iCloud Voicemail.
Currently in testing, the new service would use Siri to answer missed called. The idea is that a caller could leave a traditional spoken voice message, have Apple’s virtual assistant transcribe it and deliver it to the recipient as text.
As Business Insider notes, people often don’t have a problem leaving a voicemail but they don’t like to listen to them as it’s usually faster and more convenient to read a message instead of listen to it. What’s more, the new feature would bridge a generational gap as older people typically prefer voicemails while the younger crowd has grown accustomed to text-based communication.
iCloud Voicemail is also reportedly able to provide callers with details about where you are and why you can’t answer the phone.
The tentative plan is to debut the feature as part of iOS 10 next year.