From a technology standpoint, accuracy in speech transcription requires some human interaction and feedback for accuracy. I can see some cases where it's worth the privacy trade-off, but others where it won't be.
I use an iPhone 6 on Google Fi. They send a message to me, quoting every voicemail. It's incredibly convenient.Transcription is a feature of Apple's "Visual Voicemail," but availability depends on your region, carrier, and language selection. For example, it has been available since iOS 10 through most of the major US carriers on iPhones using US English, but Apple has not been fast to roll it out to other regions, languages, or language variants. I dimly recall reading that some other English variants were beginning to get the feature earlier this year, but perhaps I am imagining that.
I'm guessing the 1/10 you're referring to is the typical cost of the VoIP service sold by that same ISP, which typically has quite a markup.3. MagicJack costs, for the year, about 1/10 of the cost of a landline or even a VoIP line added to your Internet service.
According to this article, one must also have the iPhone 6s or later. This would explain why, with our iPhone 6 Plusses, my mom and I have never seen this feature in action.Transcription is a feature of Apple's "Visual Voicemail," but availability depends on your region, carrier, and language selection.
Maybe that's not so disturbing after all. According to this old Apple Discussion thread, everything happens locally and nothing is sent to Apple. That explains why my 6 Plus isn't up to the task.Disturbingly, voice mail transcription seems to happen even with Siri completely disabled in all settings....
Momentarily encouraged, I then got this from that thread...
Apple Support said:
And when I click the link, I also see...When I click the Wayback link, I see:
Voicemail transcriptions are done on your device and aren't sent to Apple.That's certainly good enough for me!
But the real questions here are: why did Apple delete that document, why isn't Apple being transparent in its current documents, and what is actually happening now?archive.org said:
A good question, indeed, but here is a post that is much more recent (August 2019), from John Gruber/Daring Fireball. The relevant portion is near the bottom.But the real questions here are: why did Apple delete that document, why isn't Apple being transparent in its current documents, and what is actually happening now?
Thanks! I guess I skimmed through it too quickly!
That's really what was on my mind as I looked at the archived article. If there is one thing that should not be prone to link rot, it is technical/support documentation. Even though Apple does keep some older documentation online, it is a serious offender in the disappearing documentation department.But the real questions here are: why did Apple delete that document, why isn't Apple being transparent in its current documents, and what is actually happening now?
Actually, if you have the MagicJack app on your phone, you can use it wherever you are in the world and have WiFi or data access as a "free" phone to any US or Canadian number.... One additional benefit with the MagicJack: If you take it with you overseas and plug it into the USB port of your computer that is connected to the WiFi of your hotel, you may make free calls to any US (and, I think, Canada) phone number. You don't even need a real phone, in the case, as the MagicJack will use your computer's mic and speaker. (This is great if your kid goes off to Europe for school.)
For me, the privacy issue is no worse with phone messages than emails (etc.). At least Apple tries to maintain competent privacy... In any case, almost all my voicemail messages are 'business' - e.g. "your license plates are in, free offer on solar panels installed in your very own living room, there's a virus on your phone call now so we can remove it" and so forth. :-)This has been going on for a while. Think about it, though: your phone company and/or Apple and/or outsourced contractors is listening to your personal voice mails, processing them (with "AI" of some kind), transcribing them and presumably storing them. There are any number of possibilities for additional processing, sharing, and analysis, none of which you control or know about. Does any of us understand how this works, exactly? What could possibly go wrong?
I'd be interesting in knowing:I'd be interested in knowing where the transcription is done - on the phone or in the Cloud.
And, if you use MagicJack's call screening, your junk / spam calls won't make it though. The screener (a MagicJack voice) asks the caller to press a number (0-9) to continue. The number is always different, so robo calls don't make it.An additional value is setting up the call forwarding feature to send calls to any number.
Jim, my original post mentioned this, but the use case many people miss is that, for the $40-some-odd per year, this can provide a call-screening service for your cellphone.And, if you use MagicJack's call screening, your junk / spam calls won't make it though. The screener (a MagicJack voice) asks the caller to press a number (0-9) to continue. The number is always different, so robo calls don't make it.
This makes me wonder how it responds to robocallers. We use answering machines, and most of the scammy robocalls that try to leave a message do not notice when an answering machine answers; they think a human answered and start talking during the outgoing message, so the recording starts in the middle of the message. Other robocalls shut down after the third or fourth ring if they have got no answer.MagicJack's online service will answer the call, screen it (which will hang up on robo-callers), and record a voice message from the caller.
At least in this area, all local government notices can be set up as text messages, and/or have purpose-built apps (e.g. your iPhone sounding a very loud alarm if there's a tornado warning).... I also wonder what happens to "legitimate" robocalls such as city messages (e.g., emergencies or school closings), medical appointment reminders, and warnings that credit cards have been compromised? Some of them seem to be better programmed, but others also seem to start talking when the answering machine picks up. Are these liable to get screened out with the spam?
I'm one of the exceptions. As a journalist, I interview people on the phone, and cellular voice quality often is inadequate to understand the other person. I use a headset, which leaves my hands free to take notes, and I use the same set-up when talking with friends and family. I'm happy to use Skype, but it's generally easier to set up calls on the phone.Since literally no one I know uses voice telephony over a physical phone any more
If your cell carrier supports it, you can do the same thing with iOS's built-in Wi-Fi calling feature.Of course, you will have access to the MagicJack app, so when you're overseas connected to a hotel's WiFi, you may call back to the US for free. Bonus.
My thumbs clearly don't have the muscle memory the other eight fingers do, so I do most of my texting using macOS Messages and a keyboard. I generally only resort to iOS devices for that when I'm out of the house.I use email all the time, but as a touch typist I won't put up with having to find my reading glasses to hunt and peck a text.
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