Quick Info
  • You can get live transcriptions for recordings in the Voice Memo app with iOS 18.
  • It will work with new as well as existing recordings.
  • The feature seems to be available in a wider gamut of languages than the audio transcript feature in the Notes app.

For years, people have been searching for ways to transcribe their voice memos on iPhone, and that search has always led to third-party apps. But with iOS 18, Apple is finally putting an end to that search.

At the WWDC 2024 this year, where the company announced the upcoming OS for their products and new features, came an announcement that you will finally be able to record your calls on iPhone with iOS 18. These call recordings and the Audio Recordings in the Notes app will also receive a Live Transcript feature. But the Phone and Notes apps are not the only ones getting the Live Transcript feature for recordings. The original recording app, i.e., Voice Memos also happens to fall on this list, which the tech giant forgot to mention (like, at all).

With Live Transcript for Voice Memos, you can get the transcription of the audio on your screen as you're recording it. The transcripts are also available once you're done recording. And just like the Phone and Notes app, you will also be able to get a summary of the transcript if your device supports Apple Intelligence.

The feature will not only provide live transcripts for new recordings but also any existing recordings you have on your iPhone. This is a godsend for me as I've been dreading transcribing some recordings I have on my iPhone, procrastinating on it for so long!

While there's no information from Apple about the availability of the feature, it seems that it will be available in more languages than the audio transcripts feature in the Notes app, like the upcoming audio transcripts for the Phone app.

For the Notes app, the list of supported languages is quite a small one. It will only be available in English (Australia), English (Canada), English (Ireland), English (New Zealand), English (South Africa), English (UK), and English (U.S.).

However, the recordings and transcripts feature in the Phone app will be available in English (U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore), Spanish (U.S., Mexico, Spain), French (France), German (Germany), Japanese (Japan), Mandarin Chinese (China mainland, Taiwan), Cantonese (China mainland, Hong Kong), and Portuguese (Brazil).

Now, the transcript feature is working in Voice Memos on my iPhone when the language is set to English (India) in the Developer Beta 3 for iOS 18. Interestingly, this was not the case with the Notes app; it required changing the language to English (US) to get it working.

How to use Live Audio Transcription in Notes on iPhone with iOS 18
Capturing audio notes on iPhone has got even easier.

This makes me think that the feature might be more widely available, just like the one expected in the Phone app. However, we won't know for sure until Apple provides more information on the topic or until iOS 18 comes out for the public this fall.