Live Voicemail is a new iOS 17 feature that lets you see a text version of a voicemail while it is being left. If the voicemail is important, you can pick up the call while the person is still speaking. Otherwise, you can ignore the voicemail and get back to it later. Excited to learn more? Then here’s a guide on how to use Live Voicemail on iPhone.
- How to enable Live Voicemail on iPhone
- How to use Live Voicemail on iPhone
- How to view Live Voicemail transcriptions on iPhone
- How does Live Voicemail work on iPhone
How to enable Live Voicemail on iPhone
Live Voicemail is available for all iPhones running iOS 17 or later and comes enabled by default. However, in case you accidentally turned it off, here’s how to enable it on your iPhone.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
- Navigate to Phone → Live Voicemail.
- Enable the toggle next to Live Voicemail.
Note: As of writing, Live Voicemail is available only for English language in the US and Canada (excluding Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).
How to use Live Voicemail on iPhone
- Tap the Voicemail icon when you receive an incoming call.
The caller will hear a message instructing them to leave a voicemail.
- Tap the screen to view the message as the sender is leaving it.
- Identify yourself with Face ID or Passcode to see the transcript.
- You can either pick up the call or let the caller leave you a voicemail.
If you want to view the received transcriptions again, here’s how you do it:
How to view Live Voicemail transcriptions on iPhone
- Open the Phone app → Tap the Voicemail button on the bottom right.
- Then, tap the Caller’s Name or number to access their voicemail.
- Read the transcript under Transcription or tap the Play button to listen to the message.
How does Live Voicemail work on iPhone
According to Apple, Live Voicemail uses the Neural Engine on your iPhone to transcribe the message locally for improved privacy. The Neural Engine is a powerful chip integrated into your iPhone’s SoC that’s designed to handle complex tasks like image recognition and natural language processing.
As the caller begins to record a new voicemail addressed to you, the Neural Engine on your iPhone uses machine learning algorithms to convert them into textual data, which can be displayed on your iPhone’s call screen.
If you choose to ignore the call after reading the transcription, you can find all the Live Voicemails captured by your phone in the Voicemail tab of the Phone app. Just like your regular voicemails, transcriptions captured using Live Voicemail are available to view as long as you keep them in your inbox.
Besides that, Apple also says that unknown numbers will now automatically go to Live Voicemail without ringing you. To enable this, all you have to do is open the Settings app → Select Phone → Turn on Silence Unknown Callers.
Yes, you can use Live Voicemail on your iPhone even if you haven’t enabled carrier voicemail for your line. The Phone app in iOS 17 handles everything.
In case Live Voicemails aren’t working on your iPhone, you can try to restart your iPhone to see if that helps. However, if that didn’t help, you can refer to our troubleshooting guide on fixing Live Voicemail not working on iPhone.
Live Voicemail can be a rather useful feature in situations where you don’t want to be distracted by any phone calls unless they’re about something important. You can quickly read the transcription of a voicemail to decide if you want to pick up the call right away or ignore it to address it later.
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