Apple is reportedly looking into granting Siri new superpowers.
A report from Business Insider says that Apple is going to add the ability to transcribe voicemails using Siri, so that iPhone users will be able to read the messages that people leave after the tone, rather than having to dial in and actually listen to the darn things.
The report says the feature is on track for release in early 2016, so you certainly shouldn't hold your breath for it, even if this is in Apple's plans.
Still, it would be a welcome addition to the iPhone, especially for a generation of phone users who increasingly hate voicemail. While it's often easier to communicate what you want to say in a voicemail than in a text, it's way easier for your recipient to read than it is to listen. Some big name companies, such as Coca-Cola and JPMorgan have gotten rid of office voicemail for many of their workers.
Google has long-offered voicemail transcription as part of its Google Voice service, though the results haven't always been that good. Anyone who's used Google's service probably has a story or two to tell about times when a transcript was completely and hilariously wrong. The company recently announced that it was improving the quality of transcription on Google Voice in a company blog post that said that a new technique it's using has cut errors by 49 percent.
Some see this as a possible sign that Apple has plans to launch a cell service of its own similar to Google's Project Fi. Apple observers have speculated before that the company may want to become a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, so that customers would have their calls, bills and messages handled by Apple rather than a carrier such as AT&T or Verizon. Apple itself would deal with carriers to negotiate use of their networks.
Business Insider reported, citing unnamed people, that Apple is in talks with carriers in the United States and Europe to test an MVNO. But the publication said that the network may never make it beyond the testing phase.
Apple declined to comment.