Quick steps for getting your Visual Voicemail back on your iPhone

(You can read my exciting story towards the end, but you probably won’t because you just want your VVM to work)

1st

Retrieve and delete all old voicemail off the iPhone. Also go into the deleted voicemail area and clear it.

Next

Retrieve and delete all old voicemails (some you probably haven’t received yet) from the AT&T voicemail by hold “1” on your phone.

3rd

Reset you phone network connection by

Settings -> General -> Reset on the iphone and tap Reset Network Settings.

When the phone finishes rebooting try to leave yourself a voicemail from a land line or another phone. Give it 5 minutes to come through (should be enough time even for AT&T).

If you still don’t have voicemail try to delete the AT&T profile.

Settings -> General -> iPhone profiles. Find the profile that says BenM.at in the description. Select remove.

It will reboot… now go back and follow the network reset again as above and test again. You may need to repeat these steps at least one more time.  It took a while, but it did eventually work for me.

Here is the full story….

I knew I shouldn’t keep my iPhone patched. As an IT guy I have long known that blindly patching anything just leads to misery. If you don’t need to patch then don’t. If you do need to patch let the rest of the work be your testers and work out the kinds first.

I guess I was drawn in by the desire to MMS messaging. I rationalized my early adoption by knowing that many of my corporate iPhone users would upgrade as soon as the notice popped up on their screen.  If I hadn’t patched and learned all the pitfalls then I could be in for some ugly support calls just when I don’t have the time for them.

So I sacrified myself and patched. My initial smoke test went well and everything I appeared to use seemed to work. I listened to several iPhone pod cast where people were having problems with batter life. I seemed to have better batter life than before except in unique situations. Then it would die in less than 30 minutes. A simple reset and not using GPS when avoidable seem to extend the battery life. I have even turned off G3 unless I travel into an area that has it.

It wasn’t until almost a month later that I realized something wasn’t right. I have always had hit or miss luck with voicemails. The visual voicemail is very cool and a big reason I like the phone, but sometimes they seem to delay. Not as bad as my old Nextel days, but still nothing to brag about.  I have a few people call me and said they left voice mails. Hmmm nothing…. Maybe they really didn’t… that has happened before.  Today I was able to verify that I wasn’t getting them. In face I found out because someone told me my voicemail was full…. FULL?!? How can it be full. I don’t have any voicemails.

I had to do the voice mail version of a punt and manually call the voicemail box by holding down 1 on the phone.  Holly S@#% 33 voicemails!!!! Grrrr

I went through the always fun task of reviewing all 33 hoping nothing was super critical that I missed. Luck for me I am pretty good at watching my missed call list and I frequently call be before someone can get a voice mail completed. Most of the call I had called back or they had emailed me the same message. Phew!

Now to trouble shoot this. I called my guys who also have iPhones and they had no idea. If I can’t fix it they will have to break down and wade through the AT&T iPhone support desk. I would like to avoid that so I do a google search. I have been playing around with Bing and use that for about 70% of my searches, but for tech support search I still get much better results with google.

My first quality search hit is to do a reset. Been there and done that, but I do it again anyways nothing. I leave myself a message and nothing comes through. Next is a reset for phone who hacked the tethering feature. I haven’t done that but the reset makes sense so I give that a try.

Settings -> General  -> Reset on iphone and tap Reset Network Settings.  It does a reset and comes back.  Still no voicemail.

I do more searches the two basic results are manually get your voicemails by holding ‘1’ and when you end the call it will be fixed…. Er… still not working! The other is to do a network reset. Hmmm still no luck!!

Next up is removing the AT&T profile.  I see that some are having luck with this.  Settings -> General -> iPhone Profiles. You remove the profile with BenM.at in the description.  Check it again still not working. OK I know I have to call AT&T so I better going through the reset again. Why? Because don’t you feel stupid when you call support and they have you do the basic reset and it works. You try to save face with support and say “huh? I tried that before and it didn’t work”. They tech guys thinks you are lying and you think the tech guy hit the magic switch he has….. so back to the basics.

Settings -> General  -> Reset on iphone and tap Reset Network Settings.  It does a reset and comes back.  The telling tone of voicemail waiting emerges.

Now here is what is really getting me. What broke my voicemail is AT&T trying to prevent tethering. As a good IT Leader I have never jail broken my phone and I have never attempted tethering. Now tethering is 100% something that AT&T should offer AND it should not cost $.01 more than what I am paying now. I already buy the bandwidth which AT&T falsely calls the data plan unlimited!! Then they break a basic feature of the phone.

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Updating your Facebook Status from Twitter

How to have all your twitter updates show up in your Facebook status.

Here are instructions for integrating your Facebook account and your Twitter account.

I hate to type things twice, so anything that helps me with this I am a big fan of. I have Facebook set to pull all the twitter messages I send and post them as a Facebook status update. If I have something that I only want my friends to see I pop into Facebook and just post it there.  The Twitter application for Facebook does a decent job integrating both accounts. Post once to Twitter and magically it is on Facebook… what could be better?

First you need both a Twitter account and a facebook account. If you don’t have those then take a minute and get that done. Don’t worry. I will wait. Back?

Now let’s start off by having you log into your twitter account.  Once you are logged in select the settings link.Twitter Setting Menu

This brings you to your account management page. Most of the way down you will see a “More Info URL:” Click on the link below it “(You can also add Twitter to your site here)”.

Twitter Apps Link

That will bring you to an application selection page.

Twitter Application Selection Page

Select the Facebook option and click on “continue”…

If you are logged into Facebook already it will start the install process.
Twitter to Facebook Install Page

 
When it brings up a dialog box asking for access to your Facebook account you will need to select “Allow” for it to work. It should look like the incredibly awesome dialog box below.

Allow Twitter Access to Facebook Dialog Box

Now after that you should get to the Twitter Facebook application page. If you are being unlucky like I am you will get the wonderful Twitter/Facebook error page. Both Facebook and Twitter have been flaky these last couple of months under the pressure of their own popularity. I found that from switching from IE to another browser improved the situation. I tried Google Chrome and that went smoother.

Error Loading Facebook Twitter page - Fail!

You may need to enter your Twitter log in information on Facebook.  You don’t normally have to do this, but I have seen it both ways.

Now give it a try. Enter a message in Twitter.

Twitter What Are You Doing? - Enter your tweet here!
Give is a few seconds and pop over to facebook to see the technological magic.

Watch your Facebook Status Magically update from Twitter
Wow!! Isn’t technology wonderful? It even lets your wall visitors know it was from Twitter. Can it be any better than that?

The applicaton is fairly straight forward. Anything you tweet gets posted to your facebook status exectp for  “@reply” Twitter updates. There is a daily limit to the number of updates set by Facebook, so if you have a heavy tweet day you will want to watch out for that.

Enjoy your extra updating efficiency! You now have time to inform more of your friends what you ate for dinner or what you are watching on TV. Nice!

“What if something breaks or isn’t working right? It hasn’t updated my status in days and I am tweeting!!!”

If you have problems with updates stopping and you haven’t exceeded the Facebook limit something has changed or needs to be reset. Try the following steps.

Click on the “Applications” tab and see the option that says “Edit Applications.” Click on that link.

Facebook Application Menu
Scroll through you application list until you find the twitter app.

Twitter Edit Menu on Facebook
Click on the “edit settings” button to bring up a dialog box.

Twitter Facebook Edit Settings Dialog Box
**Side Note** if you click the add link it will add the twitter application box to your profile. **

Click on the “Additional Permissions” link

Twitter Facebook Edit Twitter Settings Additonal Permissions
Make sure “Publish to streams” is checked.

If you couldn’t find the twitter app in your list of application you will need to reinstall it. Start at the beginning of this post and follow those instructions.
This is what the Bookmark tab looks like if you can’t muster the energy to do that extra click discover it.

Twitter Facebook Settings Bookmarks
 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and may not be those of anyone who linked to this post…. Even though it should be… What is their problem???