Siri may soon be able to answer calls and transcribe voicemails

Apple is reportedly testing features to make its personal assistant more useful still

iPhone owners: how often do you use Siri? Be honest – it’s probably not as much as you thought you would, is it?

While Apple’s mobile personal assistant is a fascinating piece of technology and delivers “a good laugh” when you ask it (him?) silly questions, it's never felt like an essential part of the iOS experience. But Apple might be changing all that.

According to a report on Business Insider, Apple employees are currently testing new features that allow Siri to answer your phone, listen to voicemails, transcribe them and then give you the text. That means, essentially, that you’d never have to listen to a voicemail again. For many, that could prove a killer feature. I personally hate listening to my messages, and they’ll often sit around for days before I get round to dialling the voicemail number.

I suspect I’m not alone in that, but even a widespread loathing of voicemail is not going to stop people leaving voicemail messages – when you call someone and they don’t answer, it’s simply easier to say a few words than to hang up, open up your text message app and type out an SMS. Voicemail is here to stay, but Siri may be about to remove the friction from the entire listening process.

The feature will apparently be part of a new system called “iCloud Voicemail”, which Business Insider’s sources say is expected to launch in early 2016. Siri is set to improve before next year, however, as the iOS 9 update will allow it to make Google Now-style predictions about things you’ll want to know and do, and allow it to search within apps. Bring on this smarter Siri, we say.

[Source: Business Insider]