iOS 18 Phone App Gets New Features, Including Call Recording and Transcription

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This week, Apple previewed iOS 18, the upcoming major update to its iPhone operating system. The Cupertino firm showed off several new and improved features debuting in the new version of iOS.

Some of iOS 18’s notable new features are in the updated Phone app, which receives a new search interface for call history, autofill for entering phone numbers, the ability to seamlessly switch SIM cards, and last but certainly not least, the ability to automatically record and transcribe live phone calls.

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Once you’ve placed or received a call, you can enable the app’s recording function. Since iOS 18 is from Apple, the operating system is privacy-friendly, and that also goes for users who don’t even have an iPhone. When recording is turned on, all call participants on the call are automatically notified that the call is being recorded. This makes everyone aware from the beginning of the recording that the call is being recorded, meaning there are no surprises for anyone (who’s paying attention) later on.

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The call recording feature doesn’t end there, as a transcript of the call can also be created and saved. The new feature uses Apple Intelligence, Apple’s deeply integrated, personalized artificial intelligence experience for users of the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The new feature generates a summary of the key points on the call, allowing you to view important highlights of the call with just a quick glance.

Apple says phone call transcription will be available in several languages, including English (US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore), Spanish (US, Mexico, Spain), French (France), German (Germany), Japanese (Japan), Mandarin Chinese (China mainland, Taiwan), Cantonese (China mainland, Hong Kong), and Portuguese (Brazil).

The same audio and transcription features will also be available in the iOS 18 Notes app. This will allow you to record audio and see a live transcript on iPhone 12 and newer. The transcript function should be a boon to users who record meetings on their iPhones. Those with newer models that support Apple Intelligence — an iPhone 15 Pro or later — will also be able to get a summary of the call transcript.

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iOS 18 will include several Apple Intelligence features related to communication, offering several ways for users to improve their writing, allowing them to communicate more effectively. The new systemwide Writing Tools, which are built into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, allow users to proofread, rewrite, and summarize text on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. A Rewrite feature allows users to select from multiple versions of the text they’ve written, with the added ability to adjust the tone “to suit the audience and task at hand.”

Apple will use its in-house private cloud servers for Apple Intelligence, along with tools provided by OpenAI. On-device processing will be used for simpler AI features, while cloud servers will be used for more demanding AI processes. iOS 18 decides between the two on the fly, using an algorithm to determine whether on-device processing or processing in the cloud is required.

Apple assures users that its Apple Intelligence features protect your personal data, thanks to its on-device processing. When more computing power is required, AI sends only the data required to perform the request on Apple’s private cloud servers.

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