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Sifting through Voicemail on Your iPhone

The iPhone's clever visual voicemail presents a list of your voicemail messages in the order in which calls were received. But you need not listen to those messages in order. So iPhone's visual voicemail saves you from having to listen to four or five (or more) voicemail messages before getting to the message you really want, or need, to hear.

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You can tell that you have voicemail in a couple ways:

  • A red circle showing the number of pending messages awaiting your attention appears above the Phone icon on the Home screen or above the Voicemail icon from within the Phone app.

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  • You may also see a message on the iPhone display that says something like "New Voicemail from Ed."

Display the list of voicemails when you see you have some waiting:

  1. Tap that Voicemail icon.

    You see the caller's phone number (assuming this info is known through CallerID) and, in some cases, his or her name. Or you see the word Unknown. A blue dot next to a name or number signifies that you haven't heard the message yet.

    If you have no phone service, you'll see a message that says Visual Voicemail Is Currently Unavailable.

  2. To play back a voicemail, tap the name or number in question, then tap the tiny play/pause button that shows up to the left.

  3. If you need to pause the message, tap once more.

    Tap again to resume.

  4. If you hate when callers ramble on forever, you can drag the tiny playhead along the scrubber bar to rapidly advance through a message.

  • Perhaps more importantly, if you miss something, you can replay that segment.

You can listen to and deal with a voicemail message just the way you want:

  • Tap the Speaker button if you want to hear the message through the iPhone's speakerphone.

  • Tap the blue arrow next to a caller's name or number to bring up any contact info on the person or to add the caller to your Contacts.

  • To return a call, simply tap the green Call Back button. If the caller's number is unknown, the Call Back button appears dimmed.

  • Delete a voicemail by pressing Delete.

You can listen to your iPhone voicemail from another phone. Just dial your iPhone number and, while the greeting plays, enter your voicemail password.

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