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Quickly changing voicemail providers on Android

I have a Motorola Droid. Rather than using Verizon’s own voicemail service, I choose to manage my voicemail via Google Voice.

One day, I left a voicemail in someone else’s Verizon mailbox. After listening to my message, my friend chose to use Verizon’s “reply” feature (basically, the user replies by directly leaving a voicemail in the caller’s own Verizon mailbox). Until this point, I had not even set up my Verizon voicemail, and so I never received the message.

I have since set up my Verizon mailbox; however, I continue to use Google’s services over Verizon’s own. The problem: what do I do if someone sends me a voicemail reply in the future? To reconcile my desire to use one voicemail provider and my need to have access to another, I need a quick way to switch between mailboxes.

My solution: add direct-dial shortcuts to make the voicemail switch.

First, I added two new contacts: VM VZW (Verizon voicemail) and VZW GV (Google Voice). Within each contact, I have a single number (of type VSC, for Vertical Service Code). These numbers are provided by Google when one chooses to use or stop using the Google voicemail service: for VM VZW: *71<google_voice_number>; for VM GV: *73.

Finally, I added “direct dial” shortcuts for each number to one of my phone’s home screens (like those in the image above). Now, with one these shortcuts, I can easily switch from one service to the other. I can then check my voicemail (*78 on Verizon), and I will be sent whichever service I am using.

With only slight modifications, this solution can be adapted to suit your own needs (or your own wireless carrier).