Whenever somebody leaves me a voicemail, I immediately have some questions. Like: Why not just send me a text message? And: No, really! Text messages!
Thankfully, Apple's next big iPhone update, iOS 10, is introducing a feature that could fix voicemails once and for all. It's called voicemail transcription, and it does exactly what that name suggests, automatically turning your voicemail messages into readable text.
You can download a beta version of iOS 10 right away, but you're probably better off waiting until the final release this fall to avoid bugs and the like.
Whether or not the feature is 100% accurate remains to be seen. (There are also some privacy concerns here.) But it should at least give you an idea of what a voice message is about before you devote precious minutes to listening to another mundane recording from that uncle who refuses to embrace texting. C'mon, uncle Phil. Text me!