Leaving a voicemail is a convenient way to convey a lot of information quickly. Listening to voicemails is, well, a pain—but Apple is hoping to change that. For several weeks, Apple employees have been testing an iPhone feature that uses Siri to transcribe voicemail messages, Business Insider reports. It reportedly works like this: When someone calls, you can choose to have the call picked up by Siri, rather than a digital audio recorder (the answering machine of today). Siri can tell the caller what you’re up to and why you can’t answer the phone and also record a voicemail, which is then converted to text using voice recognition.
AppleInsider notes the concept of a system that translates voicemail into text was first mentioned in a 2012 patent filing. Google offers a similar service, Google Voice, that's been around for years, but it's been plagued by accuracy issues, reports the Verge. It isn’t clear if Apple has a strategy to cut down on errors. Though iOS 9 offers Siri upgrades—including providing limited access to third-party apps and an automatic switch to driving mode when you get into your car, per 9 to 5 Mac—the iCloud Voicemail feature will reportedly be included with iOS 10, if it proves reliable. That system is due out next year. (Read more Apple stories.)