iOS has had a visual voicemail menu since the beginning, allowing you to browse and listen to voicemails without calling a number. Now, iOS 10 enhances visual voicemail by transcribing them, so you can read your voicemails too.
NOTE: Voicemail transcription is available on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE with Siri language set to English (United States or Canada). Your carrier also needs to support visual voicemail for voicemail transcription to work.
Voicemail transcription will only apply to voicemail messages you receive after updating to iOS 10. Previous voicemails will say “Transcription not available”.
When someone leaves you a message, open the Voicemail app and tap on the new voicemail.
The audio message starts playing automatically, and, if the person just left you the message, a “Transcribing” message displays while the message is being transcribed.
Once the message is transcribed, it displays in that voicemail item. Note that voicemail transcription is not always perfect. It may misunderstand some words and leave some words out. But you’ll usually have an idea of what the caller wanted to get across.
Voicemail transcription is still considered a beta feature, so you can give feedback about the usefulness of the transcription. To do so, tap either “useful” or “not useful” on the question, “Was this transcription useful or not useful?”.
Just as you can share or save the audio from a voicemail, you can also share or save the voicemail transcription. Select the transcription text (or any part of it) and then tap “Share” on the popup that displays.
Voicemail transcription is also useful for telling at a glance the difference between urgent calls and calls from solicitors or telemarketers or spam calls.