During the WWDC 2023 keynote, Apple introduced a pretty killer new feature coming in iOS 17 for the Phone app. Dubbed Live Voicemail, the iOS 17 Phone upgrade can screen and automatically transcribe incoming phone calls in real time, so you can decide if you want to pick up the call, call back later or just ignore it. 

This is a great timesaver, but it also raises a very big question. If Apple can do this with voicemail, why can’t it do the same with voice recordings in the Voice Memos app that also ships with the iPhone? The underlying technology is there, so why not put it to use?

Meanwhile, Google’s Recorder app has had live transcriptions since 2019 with the Pixel 4, and it’s honestly been a game-changer for how I work. I no longer have to use a dedicated service to transcribe interviews, which can cost about $40 a pop. And while there’s plenty of dedicated transcription apps like Otter, I’d rather have a tool built into my iPhone. 

(Image credit: Future)

Ironically, I recently used a Pixel 7a with the Recorder app to record an interview with Apple about the making of the MacBook Air, and the Android app did a superb job. I noticed a few errors here and there, but it’s easy to replay exact moments during the interview because the audio is sync with the test. You just press to play the portion you want.

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