The latest update for Google’s Phone app adds “Google-powered voicemail transcriptions for Pixel and Nexus smartphone owners on T-Mobile USA.” That sounds very similar to what Google Voice customers are already familiar with. When someone leaves you a voicemail, Google transcribes that message and puts the text right in the voicemail tab. It’s not always accurate, but gives some accessibility to hearing impaired users.
Google says 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 also has voicemail transcriptions for iPhone users since iOS 10.