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On my Focus S, when I press the voicemail button it dials the voicemail service.

Do some phones skip this step, by automatically downloading the messages?

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If you phone and carrier supports it, you will have Visual Voicemail enabled. I assume this is what you are talking about.

When it is enabled, you can swipe left from the Phone application to see a list of voicemails in your account. You can play or delete a single one from that screen. I don't think your phone automatically download them, but instead streams it over once you tell it to play a specific one. You can't really tell the difference though.

  • Hmm. Thanks for the pointer. AT&T's website says Visual Voicemail is included with Windows Phones on the 4G LTE plan. My phone has the 4G status icon. The instructions don't match up with the website: "look under Device instructions > Calling features > Voicemail to find out how to set up the Visual Voicemail feature on your device." There is no Calling features item. – Louis Jul 30 '12 at 16:04
  • A while ago AT&T changed there network to make 3G say 4G. Which phone do you have? If you phone supports LTE then you should have it. – user131 Jul 30 '12 at 16:08
  • Actually I found the Voicemail item, but doesn't talk about Visual Voicemail. I have a Samsung Focus S. – Louis Jul 30 '12 at 16:09
  • I don't have a reference but I think the Focus S won't get Visual Voicemail enabled until the Tango update ships. Since that is happening now, I would suspect once your phone updates you should see it. – user131 Jul 30 '12 at 16:11
  • The left-swipe gesture isn't active for me. – Louis Jul 30 '12 at 16:11

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