A CDE Definition
The ability to be notified no matter where you are when someone calls your telephone number. Virtual voicemail allows the caller to forward the call to another telephone number or to a computer. For people who use the same telephone line for their dial-up modem, software can notify them through a pop-up window or via email that a caller has left a voicemail. See visual voicemail.
A smartphone app that downloads voice messages from the carrier into the phone. Instead of dialing a voicemail phone number and entering a passcode as has been done for decades with cellphones, users open their app and see a list of messages with phone numbers and times. Also unlike dialed-up messages that are played sequentially, visual voicemails can be listened to in any order, and the messages are always available because they are already in the phone. Apple popularized visual voicemail with the iPhone, but the "visual" only refers to the list of messages, "not" viewable text. However, "truly visual" voicemail, wherein messages are converted to readable text, is available from several sources for most smartphones (see YouMail). See virtual voicemail.
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