Had cause today to want to retrieve and archive voicemails and text messages from my iPhone4 to my Mac. Hunted around a little bit – for example found advice that the only way to transfer a voicemail to my Mac was to plug in an audio cable from the iPhone's headphone jack to the Mac and essentially 're-record' the audio of the message.
That didn't sound too much like fun, then came across Decipher Media and their iPhone Tools. Isn't it nice when someone offers software that does exactly what you want, in a simple, understandable fashion, at a price that doesn't affect whether you eat for the remainder of the week.
They have two products, one called DecipherTextMessage, and another called DecipherVoiceMail. Bundle was $7.99.
You install the software to your Mac. You backup your iPhone (via iTunes). You run the programs and they retrieve your text messages and voicemails from the backup files on your Mac – note, NOT from your iPhone.
Interestingly not only did they find messages from my iPhone4 (which I've only had for a few weeks), but also my previous iPhone – whose backup is clearly still hiding away on my Mac.
For example, despite the fact I have long ago deleted many of the text messages, it retrieved an entire exchange of messages between myself and someone, starting from October last year.
You can save the text messages out as a text file – so easily searchable. And save the voicemails out as MP4.
If you are engaged in some kind of dispute, negotiation or other action where you want to ensure you are maintaining robust records of communications I reckon $7.99 is a tiny price to pay. For a start would have thought lawyers should have this by default.
Not sure there's a Windoze version though for all of those people who have not converted to the alter of Jobs.