Visual voicemail transcription or voice to text feature on iOS 10

When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone and iOS (1) for the first time almost a decade ago, one the many features that got an audible gasp was what Apple called "Visual Voicemail" where instead of having to go through your voicemails one at a time serially, you had all of them listed in a neat list with the relevant details next to each voicemail. Fast forward to iOS 10, Apple intends to take this feature to the next level by introducing an add on to this feature called Visual voicemail transcription or voice to text. It looks like a nifty little addition and can come in handy at times where you cannot put the iPhone to your ear to hear the voicemail. 9to5mac has a nice post detailing this feature on iOS 10. 

Visual voicemail feature on the first iPhone was one of its highlights (Source: Apple.com)

Visual voicemail feature on the first iPhone was one of its highlights (Source: Apple.com)

One interesting thing mentioned in this article is how Apple is trying to improve this Visual voicemail transcription or voice to text feature on iOS 10 using user feedback. Transcription is one of the tricky things to do as there are a lot of variables involved, like sound quality, background noise, accents, etc and Apple needs a lot of data for machine learning to perfect this one. Involving users to actively participate in providing feedback is the only way to go and I am glad Apple is taking this initiative right out of the box.

Beneath each transcription, there is an area where users can provide feedback about the transcription. If the transcription was useful, users can tap the useful link. If the transcription didn’t provide legible text, users can tap the not useful link and will have the option of sending the voicemail to Apple to help improve transcription accuracy.
— 9to5mac
The recently announced Visual voicemail transcription or voice to text feature on iOS 10 (Source: Apple.com)

The recently announced Visual voicemail transcription or voice to text feature on iOS 10 (Source: Apple.com)