Google Voice Transcription

But using your voicemails to improve transcription isn't new

Google Voice is still alive. While many have been waiting on word of its demise (and there was nary a mention of it at Google I/O last week), Google Voice as a service continues to function, allowing you to have one phone number ring multiple lines, and providing a functional (if sometimes hilariously transcribed) voicemail box.

And today Google Voice has shown a very slight sign of life, with a new pop-up window in the web dashboard asking you to "Help us improve voicemail transcription!"

That's a good thing, because it means something — anything — new has happened with Google Voice. Asking your permission to use your voicemails to improve transcriptions isn't new, however — Google's been doing that since at least 2009, when we first wrote about it. It looks like it's doing it in one fell swoop now, though.

Here's the full text of the alert:

Google would like your help in making voicemail transcriptions better. With your permission, our automated systems will remove your account information from your voicemail messages and analyze them to improve our language models. This use of your voicemails to improve our language models is fully automated, and no humans read or listen to your voicemail messages in order to do this. You can opt out at any time, and we'll stop using your messages in the future.

And that's that. Yes, let's hope transcriptions continue to get better — and that Google Voice at large still has years of life left in it.

More: Google Voice transcription help; Google's 2009 blog post


Reader comments

Google Voice shows a slight sign of life


Like many I only use GV for voicemail

I find that it takes forever to play the message and sometimes stops in the middle

I think they need to work on the SYNC part too

i only use it for visual voicemail as well. Since I use a nexus on t-mobile it really is the best option. I hope it does not go away!

Yeah, that's all I use it for as well on Sprint with my Nexus 5. That's one of the reasons I don't want it combined with Hangouts. My voicemail and my social networking/chatting don't really go together if you ask me. It would be weird having to dial into Sprint to get my Voicemails again.

The app is terrible. It always stops 2-3 seconds into playback. Every time. And even though it uses GCM for push updates, in Voice it doesn't work well at all. I regularly have to refresh manually just to get new messages.

At least now there is some hope for the horrible transcriptions. Hey your card you heed most un the lime. (They are hard to read most of the time.)

Is it just me, or did they use a G1 and a very old version of GV app (both on the phone and in the web) in the video?!?!?

I am glad to see any sign of life. Like many, I rely on it daily.
Recently (last couple of months), GV has stopped sending me an email of my transcription, though. Ended up having to have it texted to me instead, which is less helpful in my use case.
Hopefully, they'll fully integrate it into Hangouts and add to it's capability and stability.

They're probably doing final tests before they merge gv and hangouts. They've ended so many useful free services as soon as they get enough data and testing out of them. I've been holding my breath waiting for them to pull the plug on gv and google bookmarks.
I just read that they're finally retiring orkut

Posted via Android Central App

Even when / if they integrate it into hangouts it doesn't mean that they have to throw out all the back end code. So one would naturally see them still working on it from time to time. And they likely work on it more than is outwardly visible.

Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.

I saw signs of life form GV this weekend as well. For some reason I suddenly started getting voice mail alerts - for messages that were left for me 2 years ago. No clue why they suddenly resurrected this weekend and started popping up on my phone.

I'm all for making this better but after the fiasco that was IO. This is cold comfort now. It's good to know it's not dead but they have been opaque as to when this is going to be fully merged. Bad enough we have lost doing voip in May. Now we are just hanging here waiting for the new Hangouts. Frustrating just frustrating.

Posted via Android Central App

Bad enough we have lost doing VOIP in May??? ORLY? Are you sure about that? I think you fell for a rumor. Mo+ GV Phone still works for me.

Posted via Android Central App on my HP TouchPad (Schizoid PAC-ROM 4.2.2)

I hope it doesn't die, I've been using GV as my only number for a year and a half now, I don't even know phones actual number.

No, you aren't the only one. I use GV for the full suite. Text messages, One number (very handy when the school nurse is trying to find me to pick up a sick kid) message transcription (sure, I have to decipher it a bit, but I usually get the main point), etc. I hope GV doesn't go away, but if it ever does, I hope they'll let us keep the number. No one except the phone company (and robocallers that I ignore) know my home phone number or cell phone number.

Definitely not the only one, having a couple of android phones myself. one for work and the other my personal phone. the ability to send/receive texts and make calls (using GV app) and the person on the other end only knows its coming from one number makes GV awesome.

I've been using GV for texting pretty much exclusively. I'm on an old grandfathered plan that didn't include texting, but I keep the plan for unlimited data. GV is the best way to text for me because I'm on the computer a lot, and also in areas where the cell signal is poor. I can text from my Chrome Browser GV extension using a real keyboard. I don't like using cell phone virtual keyboards, and unless it's the only way, I'll use a real keyboard (preferably mechanical) every time.

I just want to stop getting text messages in it. I'd really like to see it fully integrated into Google Voice features and all.

Me thinks Google isn't able to integrate google voice into hangouts, like was discussed late last year. Or at least it's not working like they intended, so they have been improving google voice.