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The latest Android M update adds visual voicemail… sometimes

With apps telling us when our plane gets delayed or our insulin levels are off, you’d think a feature like voicemail would have been tackled years ago, but it hasn’t, at least not on Android.

Android M, the working title for the next major release of Google’s mobile operating system will bring a ton of new features to the table, including Android Pay – the company’s Apple Pay contactless payment rival, smarter application-aware Google Now search functionality, improved app switching, improved charging, native fingerprint support and as of the latest release, visual voicemail.

Up until this point Android users have typically had to rely on the conventional method for retrieving voice messages – ringing up your voicemail inbox and listening to a series of options spoken by someone with the energy levels of a sloth as you patiently progress through, one message at a time.

Visual voicemail Android M

This is where your iPhone-toting friends can rub it in your face, or rather, could until now. Visual voicemail has been available on iOS for years and it’s unquestionably more convenient and efficient for catching up on who’s called and why versus the aural experience.

Luckily Android Police and Google+ user Danny Hollis spotted talk of visual voicemail on a support ticket for an upcoming build of Android M and even swiped a screenshot of what the experience will likely look like based on the stock Android dialler.

The big caveat is that visual voicemail only works when the phone is connected to a mobile network (a WiFi connection won’t work), not to mention it relies on your carrier supporting the feature outright. In the UK only EE (including Orange and T-Mobile) and O2 offer the service, with little word from Three , Vodafone, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone or iD as to whether support will eventually expand to their respective customers too.

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