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How to turn on voicemail transcription in your iPhone: Fast guide

Apple has very attractive features for its millions of users, and one of the most differentiating features is the iPhone voicemail transcription.

This efficient transcription allows you to instantly know the content of a voice message when you can not hear it. To take advantage of its benefits, here we tell you what it is, how to activate it and more.

What is voicemail transcription on an iPhone?

iPhone voicemail transcription is designed to optimize the communication experience of its millions of users worldwide.

It's perfect when you want to find out about a voicemail you've received but can't listen to it now; voicemail transcription automatically converts voicemails to text, and you can find out the content immediately.

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The transcript may not be perfect, but it will provide easy-to-read information about what is being spoken. Once you have read it, you can choose whether to listen to the voicemail or delete it.

And if you're interested, you can learn about the best free transcription apps for converting audio to text on mobile devices for 2024 here.

What do you need to access voicemail transcription on your iPhone?

This feature is defaulted on devices with iOS 10 operating system. However, it works on iPhone 6S, iPhone SE and all new models, including iPhone 15.

To have access, the carrier must support the feature, regardless of the iPhone model. If you want to ensure your carrier supports it, you can check here.

Getting to know Siri

Siri, Apple's intelligent virtual assistant, converts voicemail to text.

When you receive a voice message, Siri transcribes it and sends it to your voicemail tab as a text message.

Siri is currently tied to the device's language settings. Note that if you change the language, it is possible to affect other aspects beyond voicemail transcription.

Upcoming iPhone updates and models may add more language options and new features related to voicemail transcription.

How to activate voicemail on iPhone?

To do this, you will need to go to Settings.

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Click on Carrier Services and then on VoiceMail to activate it.

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How to enable voicemail transcription on iPhone?

Voicemail-to-text conversion on iPhone is a default feature, and you can enable it like this:

1. From the home screen, open the "Phone" application.

2. Tap the "Voicemail" button (in the lower right corner).

3. Press the voicemail you want to read.

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4. You will see a paragraph of text above the voicemail play button. This is the voicemail transcript.

5. If you want to listen to the voicemail after reading the transcript, tap the "Play" button or simply delete it.

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You will see the sentence "Unable to transcribe this message" if the iPhone cannot make sense of the voicemail.

How do you share the voicemail transcription?

Just as straightforward, here are the steps:

  1. Select the voicemail you want to share.
  2. Long press on the transcript text.
  3. Move the blue selectors to encompass the desired part of the transcript.
  4. Tap "Copy".
  5. Paste the transcript where you want to save it or in a message you want to share it with.

How do we improve transcription performance?

You can do it with these little tricks:

  • With a stable wifi connection, if you are on the move, activate mobile data or connect to a reliable wifi network.
  • To speed up the operation, activate the "Hey Siri" function so that the transcription of voice messages can be done by voice command.
  • Customize your voicemail greeting to inform callers that their messages will be transcribed.
  • Ensure notifications and pop-ups are enabled so Siri can use them to let you know when transcriptions are ready.
  • In case of any issues with the voicemail transcription feature, reset Siri's settings to resolve.

How do you troubleshoot problems?

As with any technology, the iPhone voicemail transcription system can be buggy, and transcriptions may stop working or be inconsistent. Follow these steps to resolve:

  • Update iOS on your iPhone; updating the operating system is essential. These periodic updates available on the App Store offer bug fixes, optimizations and new features. To check for a new version of iOS, go to the
  • "Settings" app, tap "General", and select "Software Update". If there is a new update, follow the instructions to download and install.
  • Disable and then re-enable, thus resolving minor inconveniences. To do this, navigate to "Settings", tap "Siri & Search", and turn off the switch. Let a few moments elapse and re-enable.
  • Always check your wifi connection. Try switching to mobile data or connecting to a different network to test whether transcription improves.
  • If issues persist, seek help from Apple Support. Their experts can offer personalized assistance to diagnose and resolve any problems.

What's in store for the future of voicemail transcription?

If you are an iPhone user and frequently communicate with Android users, the hope is to share transcribed messages seamlessly and decrease the gaps between the platforms.

Technology continues to evolve, and with each iOS update, Apple introduces enhancements to improve the accuracy and functionality of voicemail transcription.

The future aspiration is that this feature will be fully integrated with other platforms, and a more unified communication experience across all devices will be possible.

Conclusion

iPhone voicemail transcription is a handy tool. And, as we have shown you, activating, using and sharing transcriptions is very easy.

Additionally, you already know some tricks to improve it and ways to resolve any issues you encounter with the system.

Emil Nikkhah
Hi, I'm Emil Nikkhah.
For over 25 years, I have successfully built several television post-production companies.
Frustrated by the high cost and slowness of manual transcription and subtitling in this industry, we decided to create ScriptMe, a powerful software for automatic transcription and subtitling.
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