Chapter 5. Voicemail, Texting & Other Phone Tricks

Once you’ve savored the exhilaration of making phone calls on the iPhone, you’re ready to graduate to some of its fancier tricks: voicemail, text messages, cell-company features like caller ID and call forwarding, and a Bluetooth headset or car kit.

Visual Voicemail

On the iPhone, you don’t dial in to check for answering-machine messages people have left for you. You don’t enter a password. You don’t sit through some Ambien-addled recorded lady saying, “You have…17…messages. To hear your messages, press 1. When you have finished, you may hang up….”

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Instead, whenever somebody leaves you a message, the phone wakes up, and a notice on the screen lets you know who the message is from. You also hear a sound, unless you’ve turned that option off in Settings or turned on the silencer switch (Headphone Jack).

That’s your cue to tap Home→Phone→Voicemail. There you see all your messages in a tidy chronological list. (The list shows the callers’ names if they’re in your Contacts list; otherwise it shows their numbers.) You can listen to them in any order—you’re not forced to listen to three long-winded friends before discovering that there’s an urgent message from your boss. It’s a game-changer.


To access your voicemail, tap Phone on the Home screen, and then tap Voicemail on the Phone screen.

The very first time you visit this screen, the iPhone ...

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