iPhone Users Need to Stop Paying the ‘Big 3’ for Visual Voicemail
iPhone users should stop paying for visual voicemail with the big telcos Rogers, Telus, and Bell, as the free Live Voicemail feature from iOS 17 can save you money every month. This is a public service announcement to review your monthly cellphone bill and to leverage Apple’s free and better voicemail service that debuted in the fall.
Rogers currently charges $9 per month for Premium Visual Voicemail, allowing up to 35 voice messages. Telus offers its visual voicemail service at $5 per month, while Bell charges $8 per month for a similar service. Live Voicemail in iOS 17 offers superior functionality at no extra charge.
The Live Voicemail feature in iOS 17 is a significant upgrade over the traditional visual voicemail that first debuted with the original iPhone in 2007. It requires a data connection and the phone to be on, but for most users, this won’t be a limitation.
Live Voicemail provides real-time transcription of messages as they are being left, offering immediate insight into the nature of the call on your Lockscreen. Users have the option to answer the call while the voicemail is being recorded, in real-time (this usually freaks people out), like back in the good ol’ days of landlines.
To enable or disable Live Voicemail, iPhone users can navigate to the Settings app, tap on ‘Phone’, and then ‘Live Voicemail’. By default, this feature is turned on in iOS 17 and later. When Live Voicemail is active, the phone automatically picks up calls to capture the voicemail, with the caller unaware.
Currently, Live Voicemail is only available in English in the United States and Canada. Users can send incoming calls directly to Live Voicemail or find transcriptions in the Voicemail tab of the Phone app. These transcriptions remain available as long as the voicemail is kept in the inbox.
If users experience issues with conditional call forwarding or cannot decline incoming calls, turning off Live Voicemail is recommended to continue using the carrier’s call forwarding features.
Live Voicemail offers a more modern, efficient and free voicemail for iPhone users.
Some wireless users on legacy plans, who can’t be bothered to change their cellphone services, are likely still paying for visual voicemail when it’s no longer necessary (only leave me a voicemail if you’re on fire). Check your bills.