PSA: Nexus 5 voicemail notifications don’t show up until a device reboot

Daniel Bader

November 11, 2013 6:01 pm

We’ve received a few pings from users expressing frustration about an issue with the Nexus 5’s voicemail notifications — or lack thereof.

We looked into this and confirmed that the Nexus 5 does not show voicemail notifications — specifically, the icon in the notification centre after someone has left a message — until the device is rebooted. Obviously, the voicemails are still there, and you can check them manually, but there is no indication immediately after it is left.

Because the Nexus 5 is the first and only current phone based on Android 4.4 (aside from a handful of early custom ROMs for other devices), we’re not sure that this issue applies specifically to the Nexus 5 or Android 4.4 in general. Google has teased a software update for the Nexus 5 to address nascent camera issues, so we’re hoping a fix for this issue rolls out at the same time.

We’ve been able to confirm the issue is present on Bell and Rogers SIM cards, so the issue appears carrier-independent. Are you experiencing voicemail-related issues on the Nexus 5?

Source: Google Product Forums
(Thanks Michael!)

  • Kadeem Griffiths

    I’ve had no issues with the voicemail notifications thus far… my carrier is TELUS.

    • Anthony Evelyn

      Haven’t had any issues either and I received a VM last night. My Carrier is also Telus.

    • Arman G

      Me too, ok with telus.

    • Bob Smith

      On telus and voice mail icon showing correctly for me on my nexus 5.

    • chris kuntz

      Telus is working great

    • Lexcyn

      I’m on Koodo and the VM icon has always worked for me as well.

    • Jean-Francois Watier

      Same here…

    • Mayoo

      Videotron here. Icon doesn’t apear until reboot.

    • Bigs

      Same here for Videotron, no icon…

    • Unorthodox

      Neither have I on Rogers.

  • Accophox

    I got my test voicemail notification. Phoned my phone via google voice, it’s showing I have one now.

    Wind Mobile, Nexus 5.

    • Anaron

      I’ve never had any issues with WIND Mobile when it comes to voicemail notifications. I haven’t had any issues at all since I subscribed back in December 2010. This issue seems to be carrier-dependent. Someone just mentioned it works properly with TELUS too.

  • Ryan

    not as bad as the N4 for me

    • deltatux

      Got no light bleed on my Nexus 4… could be defective device…

  • smelly

    That, plus corporate exchange email is not working properly for some.

    • YoureRetarded

      Your configuring it wrong

  • jeff

    Yep. Wife left me a voice mail yesterday… Saw the missed call but no voicemail. Rebooted this morning and the vmail showed.
    On Rogers

  • Jim

    The phone is a cheap piece of junk. You get what you pay for. Give it 3 months and it will be lagging up a storm just like every other Android phone on the market. (also you will be able to get it for free on a contract)

    • Justinn Parkinson

      It’s currently avail. $0 in-store on L tab for Koodo

    • Deli

      Stop trolling. Also TRIM will alleviate this even further.

    • southerndinner

      Android isn’t the problem, LG is the problem.

    • YoureRetarded

      Lg ain’t the issue here.

    • YoureRetarded

      Wrong, but its obvious your jealous. What you got? A plain old crapberry?

    • Jim

      I find it ironic that your name is “YoureRetarded” yet you still don’t know when to use “you’re” opposed to “your”. Android people are funny.

    • Sihawk

      What’s funny is that you correlate a person’s bad grammar to the operating system on their phone… And he has the right they’re, just missing the apostrophe.

    • Jim

      “but its obvious your jealous” is not correct. Please go back to school. Lay off the Android.

    • Sihawk

      My bad… I didn’t proofread his entire comment like you did because I have better things to do with my life… I’m sorry that the best argument you can come up with is bad English… Thanks for coming out

    • Jim

      I didn’t proof read anything. I just read it. As for argument what argument do you speak of? The only comment you made to me was regarding this persons grammar.

    • Jim

      Do you not agree that it is ironic that someone using the user name “YoureRetarded” does not know how to properly use the word “your or you’re”?

    • Sihawk

      I guess you’re right… Mentally challenged people do often have bad grammar skills… Not that it has anything to do with android

    • YoureRetarded

      You clearly need to learn English.

    • Jim

      You wrote “but its obvious your jealous”. Obviously you’re jealous of me. YoureRetarded … this is true. Perfect name for you.

    • Michael Travaglini

      Lmao this is why I love reading the comments

    • Michael Travaglini

      Lmaooo Jim’s comments are always the funniest. Just signed up to say that. Don’t stop bro

  • Balls O’Steele

    No problems, I’m using the Fongo VoLTE app with 5GB Fido ipad plan on an N5.

    • leobg

      How is your battery holding with VoIP always on?

    • Balls O’Steele

      7% extra drain, annoying but not fatal.

  • canucks4life

    I want my phone dammit…20min from my house since Fri night grrrr

  • Sebastien Rougier

    Same with Virgin, but it’s Bell network…

  • Thomas Ramsay

    I haven’t had any issues with the voicemail notification yet. My carrier is Wind

  • Ry29

    If Blackberry released BB10 with this bug, people would have been quick to trash bb. But since this is an Android bug…

    • southerndinner

      One bug in a great OS isn’t really a problem. BB10 is just all around garbage so it’d be just one more issue

    • Eric Sylvain

      Android is hardly a “great” OS.

    • skullan

      Android?

      Hey, let’s update the OS, break tethering for months and not communicate with our end users.

      Hey, let’s make it so a notification for voicemail doesn’t appear until after a reboot.

      Android is far from a perfect OS, however, people with KitKat coloured glasses may not see that.

    • Ry29

      Adding to your list: Let’s add Trim support 5 years late.

      Need push imap idle, no problem, switch to Gmail

      Audio pops and hisses and your song info doesn’t display on your car stereo? No worries, install a custom rom for proper blue tooth stack.

      Can’t find your photos since the filesystem layout changes every release? Don’t worry, upload everything to the cloud!

    • skullan

      The cloud man, it’s all in the cloud!

    • YoureRetarded

      Really? KitKat colored glasses? Can that even happen to anyone but a blackberry fanni?

    • YoureRetarded

      Manic, blackberry sucks. Get over it.

    • Hungrier

      Based on most of the (relevant) comments here it seems like it’s a Rogers-only issue.

    • Ry29

      And Bell.

  • Balls O’Steele

    Not a big deal. When you get voicemail, you also get a text message saying you got a voicemail, so the message balloon will be there even if the voicemail tape icon isn’t

    • Ry29

      If your carrier provides that feature….

  • leobg

    Rogers. No notification until reboot.

  • Abhi-nay

    No issue on my Nexus 5. I am with Telus.

  • Sean McConnell

    Works on my Nexus 4 running the SlimKAT AOSP based ROM.

  • John Burke

    Maybe a Rogers issue.
    Works fine on Koodo.

  • William Donald Morton

    Need to ask a stupid question… I have a Galaxy Nexus on Bell. I want a Nexus 5. What do I need to do if I order it from Google Play in order to get it on Bell? Do I need to bring it in store? Or do I just put the SIM card in the Nexus 5?
    Apologies in advance, since this would be my first phone purchased from Google Play… I’m a little clueless.

    • Humberto Giambrone

      Since the Nexus is unlocked, just put your SIM card in. Should work fine.

    • Guest

      You need a microsim (not the minisim that is in your Galaxy Nexus). It’ll be $5 at a Bell store.

    • YoureRetarded

      Cut your Sim down to size with scizzors using a template off the net if needed and stick it in.
      Simples.

    • Humberto Giambrone

      If you get a new micro SIM, as opposed to cutting your old SIM (some Best Buy, Future Shop locations might cut it for free with a SIM cutter), make sure you switch your service to the new SIM, I don’t use Bell, so I don’t know if Bell lets you do that online yourself, or if you need to call them or do it at a retailer.

    • Ry29

      Good comment. To back it up, last time I saw someone do a sim swap at bell, they charged the person 5 for the sim and 15 for the ‘service.’ bell would not let the person leave with an inactive sim.

      I believe a retailer like best buy or fututeshop would like you buy the sim for 5, so you can take it home to swap online for gree

    • the rock

      actually you will need to cut your sim into micro sim size.
      i was in the same boat as you.

      just dont screw it up. or buy a micro sim for bell.

      no vm issue for me and im on wind.

  • William Donald Morton

    And all of you with your N5s… Do you like it? :)

    • YoureRetarded

      Awesome device. It has a few shortcomings, but is none the less extremely solid and FAST. Battery life ain’t too shabby either, unlike what some reviewers would like ppl to believe.

    • thas ★

      It’s great. The only real downsides are the speaker and camera app. Everything else is pretty solid.

    • Accophox

      Love mine. It’s corrected many of the faults that the N4 had, and feels great in the hand, owing to keeping roughly the same physical dimensions as the 4.

    • Murray

      Had it for about 5 days. I went from an iPhone 5 and am really impressed with the N5. Not going back to Apple.

  • 3434jd8

    Why is the voicemail retrieval number blurred out? Those numbers are publicly known and don’t identify any specific customer. The only thing that blurring that number from the picture is prevent us from knowing which carrier that customer is with. Pretty silly!

    • jroc

      Why do you care?

  • Balls O’Steele

    My friend has just cancelled his N5 order for this reason. Also the reviews on battery life are poor.

    • YoureRetarded

      The reviewers are clueless. I’m getting a consistent 6.5-7hrs on screen time per day with 16hrs total time after actually setting up the device.

    • jroc

      He cancelled the phone because it is not showing a voicemail icon on specific carriers? That is a little over the top.

      As for battery life, mine has been great. Currently sitting at 94% and been off the charger for 5 hours.

    • Murray

      Really? My N5 battery life has been excellent! I went from an iPhone 5 to this N5 and the battery life is *way* better on the N5 – especially after I “upgraded” the iphone 5 to iOS 7. It just killed the batter life.

      But I have to say – the N5 has the best battery life on a phone I have seen in a very long time.

  • ben

    Virgin Mobile not working here til reboot.

  • YoureRetarded

    Based off the comments here it’s very clear both robbers and hells networks have compatibility issues with the new device. And thats it.

    • thedosbox

      One of the reports on the google link is from an AT&T customer.

      Problems with new Nexus devices shouldn’t surprise anyone (see N4 BT issues). It’s part of the price for what is meant to be cheap, high-spec, hardware aimed at seeding a new version of android.

    • thedosbox

      The comment could have been better worded. The point is that new hardware + new OS version = bleeding edge, therefore be prepared to deal with issues for awhile.

  • mark lorenz

    My gs3 with kit kat custom rom on rogers does the same thing.

  • Eluder

    I’m having a weird issue with my 32GB Nexus 5. Trying to transfer my pictures from my previous Android (Moto X) simply by copying to my PC then back to the Nexus, but it errors out. It’ll copy several images, then stop, and error out. Happens both in MTP and PTP mode, wondering if anyone else has this issue or if I simply have a defective unit. I tried a factory reset and that didn’t resolve the issue either. I’m assuming it’s a defective phone, but wouldn’t mind hearing from other Nexus user.

    • jroc

      Are you using Android File Transfer?

      I have noticed that it happens if you try to drag and drop onto the folder, but if you go into the folder and drop it in there it will work.

    • Eluder

      I simply was dragging and dropping in Windows 7 like I have with any other Android, including the Nexus 4 I got early in the year.

    • jroc

      Ok. This is what I did, and it solved the issue (I’m on a Mac, but it should still work)

      Open two windows explorer windows, one for the phone, and one for where ever you’re copying from. Double click the photos folder from the phone to enter it, then drag the photos from the other explorer window into the opened photo folder.

      If that doesn’t work, Android File Transfer should work for you.

    • Eluder

      To be honest, I encrypted the contents of my phone this morning and tried copying again and all files went through ok.
      I find it really strange that it worked after encrypting the phone.

    • jroc

      At least it worked! Cheers!

  • Tom

    Am I the only one who finds the idea of voicemail to be incredibly annoying? If I can’t be reached, there’s email, SMS, or IM. Reading one of those is far more convenient (and wastes less time) than having to enter the voicemail, enter the pass code, and play back a message that might actually have been left there by accident (often people intend to hang up when they can’t reach you, but forget to hit the button and a silent voicemail message gets recorded). Half the time voicemail messages are spam anyway.

    Seriously, it’s faster for both of us if you just send a text/email/IM saying “call me back later”, rather than wait for the voicemail tone to beep and then speak out your message.

    Fortunately, a Fido live chat session resulted in the voice mail service getting disabled on my plan. While I don’t get any discount as a result, the elimination of those useless notifications was well worth it. Yes, I’m paying the same price and losing a “service” at the same time, but it’s a “service” I detest.

    It was even worse with T-Mobile USA where the voicemail notifications are incredibly persistent. Had to go to a store and demand the voicemail to be turned off as the customer support on the phone couldn’t understand my request.

    Voicemail might have made sense in the past when entering SMS on a keypad was tedious and the vast majority of phones didn’t have internet access. But it’s 2013 now. No more need for it.

  • Michael Travaglini

    My voicemail works perfectly fine. I’m with Kodoo

  • Pat Simeon

    Anyone having weak LTE signal & weak WiFi signal with their Nexus 5 (Mine’s Black, 32GB)?I used to got stronger reception on my Note 2. I’m on Telus.

    • thisismysmartphone.tumblr.com

      Yes, cell reception/signal is extremely weak, but no quality of dropped call issues yet. Sometimes it displays that I have 0 bars, but i’m able to send and receive texts, make phone calls, etc. I think it’s a bug.

    • deMTL

      i have the same problem. i was at my friends house, had zero signal and someone called me and i could hear him perfectly. WiFi is week for me in my house too.

    • Pat Simeon

      That’s because when you’re on a phonecall, it gets off LTE, and goes down to HSPA. Whenever you turn off the LTE on Nexus 5, your signal is amazing. Something’s gotta be wrong with the radio software of this phone. Hope I’m not alone on this.

    • Matt

      When I turned LTE off (3G is selected), I randomly get “emergency calls only” in my notification drop down. I’ll still have 3-4 bars of H+. I can’t send texts or phone calls but I can receive both.

      The only thing that fixes it is turning on airplane mode then turning it back off. It can randomly happen again later.

      Definitely seems like a bug of some kind. I’m on Fido.

  • purdy44

    I could care less about not being bothered by a voicemail notification. What Google really should be working on is making some more of those flippin’ bright yellow cases! Why won’t you take my money, Google?!?!?!

  • LumpySpace

    wish they finally have a stock battery percentage display on the notification bar……..or able to customize themes of apps more. like the galaxy s4.

  • Anthony

    Technically speaking, the voicemail notification is based off a SMS that the phone received from the carrier’s voicemail application. Could have some compatibilities with how these notifications are configured (for Rogers and Bell it seems). Maybe they didn’t do sufficient handset testing prior to release?

  • Hebs519

    I am still having issues receiving voicemail notifications with Bell as my carrier, has anyone heard and update on this?

  • John

    No problem with VM notification here. I’m on Telus.

  • Michael CS

    You can add Virgin Mobile to the list of people experiencing the issue

  • Cory

    No issue on Telus. Been an amazing device so far. The only device that has got me through a day without recharging since an old Blackberry 8 years ago.

  • mad

    So the real question is.. where were you at 4:20?

  • KID ANDROID

    No issues here with my N5 on Koodo. Seems to be on the 2 carriers (Bell & Rogers) that get the least amount of unlocked device activations as the only reason ppl sign up with them is to get a subsidized device.
    Koodo plays nice always with compatible unlocked devices with no issues in my experience through a bunch of unlocked devices I’ve used on their service.

  • Saim

    Hey I am with Chatr and voicemail notifications only show up when I reboot my phone

  • Patrick Cuyegkeng

    As others have said, no issues with the voicemail indicator on TELUS.

  • senjed

    Same issue here on Rogers. VM notification issue + Network not available issue after using text and then trying to call someone.

  • Murray

    I have this problem – on Rogers. Oh well.

  • Nazzrath

    It started happening to me this week. I ended up with 4 voicemails missed. The earliest being 3 days previous. I’m with Bell.

  • loki

    Koodo, shows up right away, but frustrating thing is it shows VM let, but not by who, and on the missed call it also does not tell you who of the missed calls left a msg. Android is such a wild west world.

  • Sierra Tango

    Problem fixed on KitKat 4.4.2