Google I/O may have come and gone without a single mention of the status of Hangouts and Google Voice merging together, but on Friday, we learned from a Google Voice team member that the service isn’t dead just yet. In fact, Google plans on improving it, at least on a voicemail transcription front.
For those new, voicemail transcription is the automated service that attempts to transcribe voicemails into text so that you can read them at anytime without actually having to play the message aloud. Google Voice has been notoriously average with its transcription, so this move to improve it makes a lot of sense, even if the product’s life seems to be up in the air.
If you use the Google Voice web interface at all, you should see a pop-up the next time you refresh that asks if you are interested in helping improve voicemail transcription. You can either say “yes” or “no,” so we aren’t talking about an opt-out program here. If you do opt-in, Google reminds you that automated systems remove account information before analyzing voicemails and that no human will ever read or listen to your messages.
You can learn more about Google Voice transcriptions at this support page. To opt-in or out of transcription improvement, head into the Gear icon>Settings>Voicemail & Text and then check or uncheck the box for “Allow automated Google systems to analyze your voicemail messages to help improve transcription quality.”