Use a pre-recorded message as the personalized greeting for voicemail by playing the message at sufficient volume on a separate device when the voicemail system prompts the user to record. The YouMail app, which is available for Google and Apple mobile device, allows users to customize the voicemail greeting further, acknowledging callers by name before they leave a message.
Voicemail features are generally offered by most mobile phone service providers as well as a majority of corporate private branch exchange telephony schemes. Residential landline voicemail is sometimes included in service but can be charged as an extra, depending on the provider. Answering machines, which are ancestor of voicemail, allow personalized greeting customization but require that the device, typically separate from the phone itself, be powered and connected into the phone line.
The earliest form of voicemail was a phonograph system invented by Thomas Edison in November of 1877. It led to later 1914 devices such as the Ediscope and Telescribe, which were voice-transcription systems that could be wired into a telephone line to record conversations. A new form of voicemail was introduced in the 1970s, with portable pager devices such as the Motorola Pageboy. The system worked by having a dedicated operator take the message over the telephone, then alert the recipient via pager. The recipient called the operator to retrieve the message.