As someone who used to be heavily into jailbreaking, I’ve seen quite a few interesting and noteworthy tweaks come across my desk. Coincidence or not, Apple has mirrored the functionality of several tweaks over the years, adopting them as stock iOS features.
Needless to say, after seven or eight years of jailbreaking, it takes a lot to impress me, but that’s exactly what developer Elias Limneos was able to do. In fact, his new tweak, entitled AnsweringMachine, looked so intriguing that it convinced me to jailbreak my iPhone just to take it for a test drive.
One feature of the tweak allows users to receive transcribed voicemails, similar to the Voicemail transcription feature in iOS 10. Have a look at our hands-on video to see it in action.
- Transcribed voicemails on iOS 8 – iOS 9.3.3.
- Native notifications of new voicemails, which include dictated text (if applicable).
- Record your own greeting or use system voice greetings.
- Create dynamic greetings that will mention the name of contact callers along with time of day.
- Listen to the remote party as a voicemail is being recorded.
- Pick up the call while a voicemail is in progress.
- Suppressed Call UI, which allows for easier multitasking.
- Works with regular calls and FaceTime calls.
- Passcode-protected DTMF (Touch-Tone) commands allow you to call your phone remotely to listen to and manage messages.
- Advanced Touch-Tone commands for requesting phone location, even if location services and Wi-Fi are disabled. You can also use advanced Touch-Tone commands to force a reboot or respring.
- Redirect all calls to AnsweringMachine when Do Not Disturb enabled.
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As you can see, that’s a thorough list of features that brings some innovative new functionality to the table. There are several ideas presented in AnsweringMachine that are ripe for the taking in stock iOS. One such feature that I’d love to see in a future version of iOS is the ability to listen to in-progress voicemails.
Of course, as with most jailbreak tweaks, there are some things to consider. Since AnsweringMachine runs locally on your device, and not as a mobile provider service, your phone must be on in order for AnsweringMachine to pick up the call. If your phone is off, then your normal mobile provider’s voicemail service will handle the call.
If your phone is on, however, AnsweringMachine will handle the call as long as it has a telephony connection to your mobile provider. Hence, AnsweringMachine doesn’t require a cellular data or Wi-Fi connection to do its job. It also means that users can execute remote commands, via Touch-Tone dialing, even if the phone doesn’t have a data connection.
AnsweringMachine will be available within the next day or so on Cydia’s BigBoss repo for $3.99. Its developer, Elias Limneos, states that the initial release is just the beginning as far as features are concerned. AnsweringMachine works on jailbroken iPhones running iOS 8 or above.
Even if you aren’t into jailbreaking, you have to admit that this is an impressive tweak, and I can spot at least a feature or two that I’d like to eventually see in stock iOS. What about you?