How to use the Smart Alternative to Voicemail on your iPhone

Have you ever been frustrated by having to wade through a bunch of voicemails?
Not knowing who has left them and how long each message is.
Or, knowing you have 6 voice mail messages, having to go through the 1st 3, to get to the one you really want to listen to.
Not knowing how long it will take for each message.

Well there is an alternative to try if you’re on an iPhone (or iPad/iPod or Mac).
Apple call it Voice Messaging.
It lets you record and send a message to another iPhone, using the familiar TXT messaging App, as though it was a TXT (or SMS).
This means that the person receiving it gets to see who they received it from.
How long each message is.
And they can choose which order to review the TXT messages in.
Think that might be useful for you? And the people you communicate with?

That’s interesting – how do you do that?
To use it just tap and hold the microphone microphone1 to the right hand side of the entry field on the Messenger app where you send a normal TXT.
Say what you want to say then release the microphone microphone1.

Tap on the up arrow VT-UpArrow to send it.
Simple as that.
VTa1 VTa3

For more detail on using it click here to see my post on Is there a better way to send a TXT on your iPhone?

There’s a couple of “gotchas”
Firstly it only works when the recipient has an iPhone or iPad/iPod or Mac set up to receive it.

Secondly, you’ll need to ask others to leave you a voice mail in this way and not on your normal mobile voicemail.  You could include the request in your voice mail announcement.  Here’s a suggestion for updating your voicemail announcement:

“Hi, this is Campbell Such. If you’d like to leave a message please leave it after the tone.
And if you have an iPhone you could also leave me a voice TXT instead using the iPhone messaging App – by tapping and holding on the microphone to the right of where you enter a TXT. Thanks”

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

Advanced User Tip
If you want to take it a step further then try the camera on the left hand side and send a Video TXT.

How to dictate a TXT (SMS) on your iPhone

1. Open the Message App – the one you normally use to send a TXT (or SMS)
Messages Icon

2. Create a new Message (or open an existing Message)

3. Tap on the microphone VT-Microphone next to the Space Bar on the keyboard


4. Tap on Done when you’ve finished dictating your TXT

5. Check and Edit, using the keyboard, anything that isn’t recognised before sending

Note: You can tap the Microphone again to add more text. It will add it at the cursor

Is there a better way to send a TXT on your iPhone?

Ever thought there has to be an easier way to send a TXT (or SMS) message instead of tapping it out on the iPhone keyboard?
Imagine how quick and easy it would be to send a TXT if there was

The good news is that there is.
It’s the Voice TXT option on your iPhone.
It’s a great new feature in iOS 8 that lets you send a brief (or longer) audio note from your iPhone (iPad/iPod or Mac).

Ever had anyone misunderstand a TXT you sent them?
Voice TXT solves the problem by adding the richness of your voice to convey more clarity and meaning.
And might even remove some of that ambiguity that can exist in a standard TXT message

So how do I do it?
It’s easy – here’s how
You’ll need to be on iOS8 or later – iOS 7 and earlier don’t support it

1. Open the Message App – the one you normally use to send a TXT (or SMS)
Messages Icon

2. Create a new Message (or open an existing Message)

3. Tap and hold the microphone icon to record a Voice TXT – and continue to hold for as long as you want to speak.

VTa1 VTa2

4. Let go of the microphone icon when you’ve finished what you wanted to say

5. You now have 3 options for your Voice TXT

  • Cancel it –>Tap the VT-X  button to cancel and delete the Voice TXT.
  •  Review it –> Tap the VT-Play button to playback the Voice TXT if you want to check it before you send it.
  • Send it –> Tap the VT-UpArrow  button to send the Voice TXT.

6. Once you’ve sent the audio message, both you and the recipient can play it until it expires.
This is what Sent and Received Voice TXTs looks like

To play a received Voice TXT tap on the blue triangle

Are there any “gotcha’s”?
1. You’ll need to be on iOS 8 or later – iOS 7 and earlier don’t support it

2. The other person needs to be on an iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac with iMessage turned on
To turn it on go to Settings –> Messages –> iMessage. Set it to on

3. Messages you send expire and are automatically deleted from your device after 2 minutes (default setting)
To change this go to Settings –> Messages –> Audio Messages –> Expire. Set it to either After 2 minutes or After 30 days

Here’s an option that makes it even easier to send and receive a Voice TXT
Once you’ve mastered the basics, there’s an even easier way to do it.
Turn on Raise to Listen
This means you can listen to the incoming audio message by raising the iPhone to your ear.
It also lets you speak an answer to a TXT or Voice TXT by raising it to your ear

To turn it on go to:
Settings –> Messages. Scroll down to Audio Messages and turn on Raise to Listen

Give Voice TXTs a try now

You may be surprised how often you find yourself using them once you see how easy it is