When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / Features / What is Live Voicemail? Apple’s voicemail transcription feature explained

What is Live Voicemail? Apple’s voicemail transcription feature explained

This new iOS 17 feature transcribes voicemails in real-time.

iOS 17's new Live Voicemail feature running on iPhone

Never know whether to pick up an unknown call on your smartphone? Neither do we.

Google’s Call Screen feature lets Google Assistant answer the phone for you. Now, Apple has introduced its own version of the feature with iOS 17. Dubbed Live Voicemail, the new feature lets you view real-time transcriptions of voicemails, while still letting you pick up the phone.

It’s a handy way you can screen your own calls, so you know when to pick up. But how does Apple’s Live Voicemail feature work? Here’s everything you need to know about the new feature.

How does Apple’s Live Voicemail feature work?

Live Voicemail provides real-time transcriptions for voicemails, while the caller is still leaving the message. You’ll see the description appear on the call screen, Star Wars scrolling-text style. While the voicemail is being transcribed, you still have the option to answer the call. Alternatively, you can leave it going to voicemail, just like with any other call.

Apple's Live Voicemail being used on iPhone Call Screen

To use Live Voicemail, you don’t have to do anything special providing your carrier supports it. In iOS 17, when a caller begins leaving a voicemail, you’ll see the transcription automatically appear on the call screen. You can read the transcription in real-time, and decide if you want to take the phone call. If you decide to let it go to voicemail, you’ll still be able to listen to the audio message later.

Apple handles the entire feature directly on your iPhone, using the Neural Engine inside. This means that no call or voicemail data is taken off your device for processing in the cloud.

Profile image of Connor Jewiss Connor Jewiss


Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around seven years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home

Enable referrer and click cookie to search for eefc48a8bf715c1b 20231024b972d108 [] 2.7.22