How do you get your iPhone voicemail transcribed? With iOS 10, it's easy!

Believe it or not, I still get voice messages on my iPhone, even though text messaging is a perfectly useful way of communicating. Sometimes, I'm not in a particularly convenient place to listen to the voice message playback.

In iOS 10, Apple has added voice mail transcriptions. The feature is still in early beta stages, meaning that not everything will transcribe as clearly as you may want. But, it works good enough to get the gist of a message without having to hear the audio of it first.

How voicemail transcripts work in iOS 10 on iPhone and iPad

All of the major US carriers are already set up with what is called "Visual Voicemail." It is less common around the world but is slowly becoming a basic feature in major carriers in every country. Check with your carrier to see if Visual Voicemail is available to you.

Visual Voicemail transcribes the words that are spoken on voicemail messages and displays the text right in the voicemail section of the built-in Phone app on your iPhone. It is still early in the beta stages and doesn't always get every word right. It does, however, transcribe most of the message with enough information for you to understand what is being said.

How to view transcript of voicemails in iOS 10 on iPhone and iPad

Voicemail transcripts are still rolling out and may not be available to you. Check your carrier to see if Visual Voicemail is available on your iPhone first. If so, it should automatically be present in the built-in Phone app.

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Voicemail in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap a voicemail message.

    Selecting a voicemail transcript on iPhone

When you select a voicemail message the first time, the audio will playback automatically when you tap it to see the transcript. If you've already listened to a message, it will not playback the next time you read it.

How to share transcripts of voicemails in iOS 10 on iPhone

If someone leaves a voicemail with information that is useful to others, you can copy the transcript and share it using the Share extension.

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Voicemail in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap a voicemail message.

    Selecting a voicemail transcript on iPhone

  4. Press and hold the transcript until the options menu appears.
  5. Drag the selection bars to select the portion of the transcript that you want to copy.
  6. Tap Share.
  7. Select the app with which you want to share the transcript.

    Sharing a voicemail transcript on iPhone

How to create a Calendar event from a transcript of a voicemail in iOS 10 on iPhone

If a voicemail includes information about a specific time and date, you can create an event in the built-in Calendar app right from your voicemail message.

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Voicemail in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap a voicemail message.

    Selecting a voicemail transcript on iPhone

  4. Tap the date or time in a transcript (words that can be used to create an event are underlined).
  5. Tap Create Event when the window pops up.
  6. Enter the relevant information for the event and tap Add to save it in the Calendar app.

    Adding a Calendar event from a voicemail transcript on iPhone

How to report feedback of voicemail transcripts in iOS 10 on iPhone

Sometimes the voicemail is properly transcribed, and sometimes it is not. You can report feedback to Apple about the transcript, which will help make the service work better in the future.

You can also submit audio recorded voicemails to Apple to help improve transcription accuracy. Keep in mind that this means your voicemail will likely be heard by other people. It won't be sold to any advertising companies, but it will be used by technicians to work on advancing speech recognition technology.

Important: Apple notes, "Do not submit recordings if you believe the speaker will be uncomfortable with you submitting the content to Apple."

  1. Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Voicemail in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap a voicemail message.
  4. Tap Useful or Not Useful.

    Reporting feedback about voicemail transcripts on iPhone

The feedback (that is; whether the transcript was useful or not) will be submitted. You will then be asked if you want to submit your voicemail to Apple to improve transcript accuracy. Tap Submit to send the voicemail to Apple or Cancel to keep the voicemail private.

What to do if transcripts aren't working in iOS 10 on iPhone

Sometimes, things go wonky and just don't work. If you can't access voicemail transcripts, if you get duplicate voicemail messages, if you can't listen to a voicemail, if the caller can't leave a voicemail, or if you can't delete a voicemail, you can troubleshoot the problem.

  • Try restarting your iPhone
  • Check for an update from your carrier by going to Settings > General > About. A carrier update will pop up automatically.
  • Update to the latest iOS.
  • Make sure voicemail is set up by calling yourself.
  • Make a call to ensure your cellular network is working.
  • Reset your network settings by going to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings.
  • Check with your carrier to make sure you have the Visual Voicemail feature.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about voicemail transcripts, how they work, or how to view them? Let me know in the comments and I'll help you out.