A new Apple patent that was recently approved will provide enhanced methods to handling incoming calls by either putting them on hold or saving voice mails as an SMS.
Approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the patent is entitled "Dynamic Context-Based Auto-Response Generation," which aims to provide consumers with options when they're on a call or just generally unavailable.
The system can be completely automated. If the user can't answer the call, the caller receives a pre-recorded message based on the caller ID and other aspects. The caller would then be asked to leave a voice mail. That scenario would be triggered if, for example, the phone detects a user driving or if they're occupied, to which it'll then automatically forward an incoming call to voice mail.
Another scenario enables users to manually determine how to handle the call; one can choose to answer it, send it to voice mail or place it on hold. The latter option allows users to set the hold time and transmit that information to their callers, who will then decide if they wish to remain on hold or switch to voice mail.
Messages that are left in a user's voice mail can be converted to text, allowing you to read them when you're occupied with another call. While it's too early to tell due to the amount of patents that don't come into fruition, Apple may integrate the feature into the inevitable iPhone 6 (or/and iPhone 5S).