In versions of iOS before 9.0, saving a voicemail message meant you to use a third party app and jump through several hoops–or worse, hook up an external recording device. iOS 9 makes it a simple task by including a share sheet in the voicemail interface.
Of course, you’ll need to have Visual Voicemail for this to work, so if you have to dial into a number to retrieve your messages, you’re out of luck.
Why would you care about saving voicemails? Well, I’ve had two uses for it pop up recently. One involved a last message from a deceased relative. My wife really wanted to save it forever and it’s nice to have a backup outside the voicemail system. The other use was more mundane. Someone left a message on my number that was really intended for my son. Instead of relaying it, I just sent it to him in a text message so he could listen for himself.
Start by just tapping the message you want to save. You’ll see the Share button next to the Info button. Go ahead and tap Share.
Just like other share sheets throughout iOS, you’ll see a list of apps you can share the voicemail with, including built-in apps like Messages, Notes, and Mail. Tap any of them to share the voicemail.
If you don’t see the app you want, scroll to the right-hand side of the top list and tap More. You’ll see a list of activities you can associate with this share and you can enable whichever you want. They’ll appear on the main menu from now on.
When you share a file, it gets saved in the .M4A format. This standard format ensures you can play the file or convert it with other apps should you need to.
And that’s all. It’s a super simple tip, but hopefully it comes in handy the next time you get a drunken voicemail from your boss that you just can’t wait to share with your friends.