Android for the Windows Guy: Visual Voicemail

Android for the Windows Guy: Visual Voicemail

Taking the pain out of Android, one feature at a time

If you're using AT&T Wireless like I am, you'll be happy to hear that the Visual Voicemail feature you previously used with Windows Phone is also available on Android. But depending on how you acquired your phone, you may need to download the app from Google Play and configure it yourself.

In my case, I've been evaluating a Google Nexus 5 since it arrived about three weeks ago. Check out my review of the Nexus 5 if you haven't; it's a fine Android handset. As you might expect, however, moving back and forth between Windows Phone, which I prefer, and Android is sometimes difficult.

There are some things the Nexus 5 is never going to be able to achieve. The stellar camera quality I see from the Nokia Lumia 1020—my favorite smart phone—being an obvious example. But these "Android for the Windows guy" posts are all about bridging the gaps. And Visual Voicemail is a wonderful example, assuming you can use this feature.

I'm not sure about the availability of Visual Voicemail off of AT&T—I know it's not on Verizon Wireless, for example. But on AT&T, I've been using this feature since the first iPhone debuted in 2007, and like other modern conveniences like wireless charging it's hard to live without once you've had it. Windows Phone has it. And, though I didn't realize this initially, so can Android, courtesy of an AT&T Visual Voicemail app you can download for free from the Google Play Store.

Before I knew about this app, I was back in the Stone Age. To access voice mail, I'd actually call voice mail and then listen to each message in turn. You know, like it's 1990's all over again.

However, with the Visual Voicemail app, all you need to do is run the app, call voicemail one last time when prompted to determine whether you qualify to use the app (i.e. are in fact an AT&T customer) and then configure your voicemail password. After Setup completes, the app will fill up with your available voicemails.

From here, you can access voicemails as you did on Windows Phone, selecting any voicemail from the list and listening in the order you prefer.

Going forward, of course, new voicemails notifications will trigger the app, and not the phone dialer. It's like you've just moved into the 21st century. Again.

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