All articles

How Apple iOS 17 update impacts voice calling

A new season is upon us. The leaves are changing, kids are going back to school, and as Apple users have come to expect for years now, critical new updates and the latest iPhone operating systems arrive this fall. 

The new operating system, iOS 17, brings a couple of changes to the voice call experience, and we’re here to help you understand what this means for you and potentially your outbound calls.

Although the new OS update is available to iPhone users now, the adoption of it has been somewhat slow compared to previous releases among customers. The new Apple software update is only available in the United States and Canada, with the roll-out to impact other countries in the coming months. 

Visual update to Branded Calling 

            iOS 16                                       iOS 17


More of a cosmetic change, the new iOS 17 update slightly changes the Branded Call experience by moving a business name from below the number as it comes through to above. Branded caller ID identifies who is calling so customers will be confident to answer their phones when your business tries to reach them.

According to Hiya’s State of the Call 2023, 87% of consumers think unidentified calls are fraud—so adding Branded Caller ID is vital to getting through to more of your customers.

With optimal user experience in mind, this will hopefully make a business’ name more noticeable to the call recipient and could impact call pick-ups. 

What is Live Voicemail?

Perhaps the most significant feature in the latest iOS 17 update for the voice call is the introduction of Live Voicemail. Traditionally, voicemail messages have inherent latency to forging a connection between the caller and the recipient. And they can also be troublesome for businesses looking to interact with a potential customer. Voicemail lacks the immediacy and spontaneity of a live phone call and engaging conversation. 

With Live Voicemail, Apple is looking to bridge that gap by allowing call recipients to receive and interact with voicemail messages in real-time. 

How does Live Voicemail work? 
  • Real-time transcription. Live Voicemail uses advanced speech recognition technology to transcribe the voicemail message into text as the caller leaves it. The text appears in real-time on the iPhone’s screen, giving the recipient a live feed of what the caller is saying. This concept is not entirely new, as the feature resembles call screening, which was possible when many home phones had answering machines. Hiya’s own Call Screener feature in our app also addresses this need. 
  • Live interaction. As the caller leaves the message, the recipient can respond in real-time and answer the call live or select “Voicemail,” which will then activate the Live Voicemail function for that call. The call recipient can answer and talk to the Enterprise live at any point during the message. Recipients can type responses, send emojis, or even record a short audio clip to reply with voice. 
  • Message playback. If the recipient misses any part of the message or wants to review it later, Live Voicemail lets the user replay it as often as needed. 
  • Voicemail playback modes. Depending on their preferences, the call recipient can switch between live transcription, audio playback, or a combination. 
The impact of Live Voicemail

Due to the introduction of Live Voicemail to millions of Apple users with iOS 17, businesses may change their contact strategies to allow agents to leave voicemails because of the opportunity for potential customers to answer the call during the message. Once Live Voicemail is active, the network considers the call ‘answered.’ For all users who install iOS 17, the Live Voicemail feature is automatically turned on and starts working. 

As with most roll-outs of the latest software updates from Apple, the population of users is growing but has yet to spike immediately. It will take time for users to fully understand how to use the new feature. 

Live Voicemail may also present new opportunities for fraudsters and scammers to adapt their calling practices. Impersonations of companies creating compelling and urgent voicemail messages that prompt recipients to take action could all be at risk of increasing. Branding Calling will become even more critical for businesses to implement in order to deliver trustworthy calls in an era of unrelenting scam attempts. 

Enterprises can do their part to help their customers feel safe answering the phone by adding Hiya Connect, which enables businesses to display their company name, logo, and reason for the call on the recipient’s mobile phone. Check out our Branded Call Checklist and Buyer's Guide  to make the best decision for your business.

Author Alex Salkin