Part of the Email and messaging glossary:

Voicemail is a method of storing voice messages electronically for later retrieval by intended recipients. Callers leave short messages that are stored on digital media (or, in some older systems, on analog recording tape).

Originally, voicemail was developed for telephony as a means to prevent missed calls, and also to facilitate call screening. In recent years, voicemail has become integrated with the Internet, allowing users to receive incoming messages on traditional computers as well as on tablets and mobile phones.

Microsoft Exchange is a popular platform for voicemail with desktop and notebook computers. Users can play their voicemail messages either as audio (MP3) or as text. In order to play a voicemail or read it as text, the user simply clicks on an inbox item, just as would be done with an ordinary e-mail message.

One particularly interesting development is the integration of voicemail with e-mail. Google Voice, for example, can translate voice messages into text for viewing on mobile and tablet devices. Google Voice also allows free or low-cost worldwide texting. Users can set up custom greetings for various callers. Address books can be shared across multiple platforms such as e-mail, a landline phone, and a mobile phone. Google Voice and similar applications work in effect like voice-enabled e-mail in reverse.

Proponents of voicemail-to-text, voice-enabled e-mail, and unified messaging assert that these applications have largely dissolved the barriers between data networks and traditional voice networks.

This was last updated in December 2012
Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • QuickType

    - QuickType is a predictive text feature released with Apple's iOS 8 that uses machine learning to incorporate the user's vocabulary into its dictionary and so improve its capacity and accuracy. The ... (WhatIs.com)

  • pink contract

    - A pink contract is an agreement between an Internet service provider (ISP) and a spammer that exempts the spammer from standard policies and allows them to send spam through the ISP. The term pink... (WhatIs.com)

  • opt-out

    - Opt-out communications are messages sent for marketing, promotion or fundraising that include an option for the recipient to be removed from any future messages. The term was originally applied mos... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Email and messaging

    - Terms related to email and messaging, including definitions about instant messenger and words and phrases about email servers, storage, spam and mobile access.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.