Apple employees are said to be testing a new Siri function that allows the digital assistant to convert your voicemail messages into texts.

Transcribing voicemails into text and relaying them on to the user via text message could eliminate the need to call and listen to voicemail, according to Business Insider.

Siri has been given a more prominent role within Apple's newest mobile operating system iOS 9, first unveiled at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference and due for full release in spring. Whereas the digital assistant could complete basic dictated tasks, it now works more closely alongside search feature Spotlight and has been upgraded to complete more complicated commands, such as "Show me pictures taken last December", as well as suggesting apps or contacts based on usage patterns.

The voicemail service, due for release next year, is reported to use Apple's iCloud, diverting calls to Siri and informing certain callers why you can't answer the phone.

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Apple Watch owners can use Siri to dictate text messages, launch apps, set reminders or find directions.

The Californian company created a SIM card allowing users to switch between networks within the UK and US, in what was hailed as "the biggest strategic challenge to mobile operators for years" last October.

The data-only SIM comes pre-installed in WiFi + Cellular enabled versions of the iPad Air 2, and gives owners the chance to switch between short-term plans from EE, T-Mobile and US networks AT&T and Sprint. It was the first time Apple provided its customers with a choice of carriers on a single device, and could hold significant implications for the mobile industry should Apple create an equivalent version for the iPhone.

Ian Fogg, head of mobile analysis at IHS Technology, said at the time the move would place pressure on operator revenues and profitability, with a potential "enormous impact" on the business models of mobile operators.

"Apple SIM has a potential to fundamentally change the relationship between mobile operators and users," he said. "Making it easy for users to switch carriers and tariffs from a device user interface removes barriers to consumer switching, makes market competition more efficient, and places pressure on operator revenues and profitability."