Saturday, October 15, 2011


If you use Google Voice in place of your carrier’s text messaging, you’ve probably noticed that it’s missing MMS capabilities. You can text back and forth to your heart’s content, but receiving or sending pics or videos isn’t an option. Well, soon you’ll be able to say it wasn’t an option, as Google is (gradually) rolling out MMS support for GV users.

Before you get too excited, the only MMS messages that can currently be received are those coming from Sprint users. Note that Sprint needs to be the sender’s carrier, not yours. In its current state, any MMS received from Sprint users will be forwarded to your email inbox, provided you have email forwarding activated for your GV account. Google says that they are also “planning on” making them show up in your Google Voice inbox at some (unspecified) point in the future.

When this rolls out, it will help make Google Voice more of a legit replacement for standard texting plans. The timing of this rollout could very well be in response to Apple’s iMessage, that was just launched with iOS 5. As it stands now, iMessage allows pictures and videos to be sent between iOS users, while Google Voice messaging is just now showing these early signs of moving in that direction.

Google also says that they are working with mobile operators not named Sprint in order to further get the ball rolling. This isn’t the first time that Sprint has shown a willingness to collaborate with Google, as they have been allowing their customers to integrate Google Voice into their phones (using their GV number for their Sprint phone, or vice versa) since earlier this year. It will be interesting to see how long it takes AT&T and Verizon to follow suit on the MMS accessibility (if at all).

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