Voicemail on L5


#1

There’s an app I’ve always had on Android that I recently realized I’ve been taking for granted - a voicemail app, or Visual Voicemail as it’s currently called. This let’s me check my voicemails, delete and save, etc. without having to call my own phone number, put in a password, and listen to the audio menu to do anything.

I hadn’t thought about it until today that this won’t be an option when I get my Librem 5 and I’ll have to call in to check voicemails. I can live with this but it’s not ideal.

I’m assuming the app is specific to my carrier (AT&T), but does anyone know much about how these apps work? Are there voicemail APIs that can be used to create voicemail applications for Linux desktop, aka Librem 5?
Or is this hopeless, and doing this sort of thing is locked down by the carrier?


#2

Hello,

I would not count on the availability of such apps anytime soon. Traditionnaly, voicemail is operated on the carrier side and customer receives some notification (ie: sms) that a new voice message is there and you may consult it by calling in a special number.

Apps like the one you describe will likely plug through dedicated webservice with a token based mechanism after you enrolled.

If the API used by those webservices are documented publicly and stable, then writing such app would be possible. But I have some doubts about those API being publicly documented… Such openess is rarely a source of concern for big telco operators.
Maybe also because 99% or so of their current customers runs Android/iOS for which they already ship an app.


#3

For the scenario that the phone is on the network but the call is not answered, there are discussions in this forum already about doing voicemail on the phone itself. That will never deal with the scenario that the phone is “off grid” as it were. Then you are at the mercy of the carrier.


#4

I would add that you can always also try to reverse engineer how the app works, but: that might not be allowed by th carrier, and, it does not give you any confidence that API would stay stable


#5

I kinda figured as much. I think I am still going to look into it though. Who knows? Maybe there is an open and stable AT&T API that can be used. Ideally, this is something standardized and could work with any carrier, but I know that would never happen.


#6

There may be hope. I don’t think it is carrier specific. I am on Verizon, and had the same app (Visual Voicemail) on my phone. I switched phones to a non-Verizon supplied Pixel XL and installed /e/OS on it. There is a voicemail panel on the calling app that has the same functionality, and it works just fine.