There are several, free, third-party apps on the market that efficiently translate any voicemail messages you receive into text, but most phones on the market also have their own built-in visual voicemail options. If you want to streamline the voicemail retrieval process, try one of these free visual voicemail solutions.
Android voicemail – Android
The Android operating system includes a native visual voicemail that lets you view voicemail messages in text form. You can view voicemails by going into the dialer and then selecting or swiping over to voicemails. When you open each logged voicemail, you should see both a Play button (for listening to the message) and transcribed text of the message. If you have an older Android phone or if your service provider doesn't offer visual voicemail, you can download a third-party app.
iPhone voicemail – iPhone
To access your iPhone's built-in visual voicemail, open the dialer app and click the voicemail icon in the bottom right-hand corner. You'll either be prompted to set up your visual voicemail inbox or connected to an audio-only automated voicemail system. If the latter occurs, then visual voicemail is not provided by your carrier. If you still want to access visual voicemail, your best bet is to download a third-party option.
HulloMail – Android, iPhone
HulloMail is a solid third-party visual voicemail service with premium features for business subscribers. The free app lets you view your voicemail inbox at a glance and play a message's audio. You can also manage your inbox and send a copy of a voicemail to your email.
Purchasing a business subscription ($5.99 per month or $59.99 per year) opens up a slew of new features, including unlimited cloud storage for your messages and full-text transcriptions. Subscribers can also search through individual message transcriptions using keywords, so you always find the message you need.Credit: Thumbtel Ltd.
YouMail – Android, iPhone
Hate being pestered everyday with spam calls and telemarketers? YouMail claims to stop these annoying calls with smart caller ID, giving your visual voicemail a junk mail folder. Besides ignoring scam calls, you can access your voicemail from any device through the cloud and hold conference calls. The professional account has several business-centric features, including a unified voicemail for multiple phones, recording greetings, auto-reply and call routing. YouMail Professional is available for $12 per month or $120 per year.Credit: YouMail Inc.
InstaVoice – Android, iPhone
InstaVoice voicemail management system allows you to organize, view and reply to messages any way you choose. The chat interface organizes your most important conversations for you, allowing you to review missed call alerts, text messages and visual voicemail transcription. Using the app, you can send voice messages to your recipient through SMS. The account lets you store unlimited messages, and you can access your voicemail through any device as well as your email. One account supports multiple phone lines. Premium features, such as transcription and voice messages, cost credits, with the app charging $0.99 for 100 credits.
Additional reporting by Mona Bushnell