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Google’s Phone app for Android now transcribes voicemail for T-Mobile customers

Google’s Phone app for Android now transcribes voicemail for T-Mobile customers

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Pixel and Nexus smartphone owners on T-Mobile will now have an easier time determining whether a voicemail is worth listening to. The latest update for Google’s Phone app adds “Google-powered voicemail transcriptions for T-Mobile USA customers.” That sounds very similar to what Google Voice customers are already familiar with. When someone leaves you a voicemail, Google does its best to transcribe that message and puts the text right in the voicemail tab. It’s not always terribly accurate, but gives a very quick idea of whether it’s an important missed call or some nonsense spam about a free vacation or impending doom over owed taxes.

Google spells out that this feature is available exclusively to T-Mobile users right now, which can be seen as somewhat odd since it’s Verizon that’s the official carrier partner for Pixel devices. Hopefully Google will expand voicemail transcriptions to all the major carriers before long. T-Mobile customers began noticing the transcriptions appearing earlier this year, according to Android Police.

The transcriptions are done by “computer programs” and “analyzed by machines” Google says, so actual humans shouldn’t be listening to your messages at any point. Many carriers offer their own visual voicemail transcriptions, though you usually need to install a separate app. Apple added voicemail transcriptions for iPhone users in iOS 10.