Where the Apple Gets Rotten
I’ve posted before about how I’m a fan of Apple’s iPhone, and all its bells and whistles. However, after a little over a year of using the iPhone, I’m getting more and more frustrated with some of the basic things it lacks, most importantly integrated support for Multimedia Messaging (MMS as it’s more commonly known, or picture messaging if you will).
I’ve read some arguments that MMS is dead. No, it’s not. MMS accounts for some 70 percent of non-voice call revenue in European markets. And judging from the fact that I get at least two or three a week — which with my iPhone I can’t open without going to a cumbersome viewmymessage.com website requiring a complex username and password combination — there is definitely an existing user base for MMS. While email is just as easy to use for those of us with smartphones, there is still a chunk of the population with “old-school” devices.
There is a workaround for the iPhone user wanting to send an MMS message, though (and if you want to irritate your MMS-having friends, one to receive as well).
Nearly all the wireless providers assign their subscribers an email address based on their phone number. An email sent to that address will be delivered as a text message, thus if you attach a photo to that message using the iPhone’s built-in photo emailing tools, the photo will be received on the other end as a picture message. But then you need to know what the email address is for that recipients mobile network, and before you can know that, you’ll need to know what network they are on! Of course, once you have that email address you can just add it to your contacts, and you’re good to go in the future.
Below are the email addresses for a variety of providers:
- Alltel = email@example.com
AT&T = firstname.lastname@example.org
Boost Mobile = email@example.com
Cingular (AT&T) = firstname.lastname@example.org
Einstein PCS = email@example.com
Sprint = firstname.lastname@example.org
T-Mobile = email@example.com
US Cellular = firstname.lastname@example.org
Verizon Wireless = email@example.com
Virgin Mobile = firstname.lastname@example.org
Another way to go at the moment is email@example.com, which automatically sends the picture number to the appropriate carrier. You can also use this service from a computer to send pictures to phones from Teleflip’s site.
Unfortunately if you want to receive picture messages (MMS) on your iPhone, it’s a little more of a hassle for your comrade sending the message. Almost all mobiles allow users to send messages to email addresses. To view the picture [somewhat] easily, the sender needs to deliver their picture to the email address you’ve got set up to receive on your iPhone. And there you go, you should receive a picture to your email. Certainly easier than the current “viewmymessage.com” message that I dread so much. I mean, come on, how many of those on-the-fly pictures are really worth all that effort?
Until there is Apple support for MMS, or some better third party apps, this is the route we must go as iPhone users. So be it.