iPhone MMS: A Workaround

I only have a few gripes about the iPhone, and they’re the usual suspects.  Of all the ones that won’t be corrected next month (3G and Exchange support), the biggest for me is the lack of support for sending and recieving MMS messages.

Until Apple adds this functionality, I’ve come up with a workaround.  It’s not pretty, but it works.  I’m sure others have thought of this too, but I wanted to share the process, along with an extra tip at the end.

iPhoneTo send a picture message, simply create a new email, attach a photo, and send it to your recipient’s mobile email address.  Most people I pix message are Verizon customers, so they would be xxxxxxxxxx@vzwpix.com.  The 10 x’s are their mobile number.  I beleive AT&T customers would be xxxxxxxxxx@cingularme.com.  For other carriers, a quick Google search should return what you need.  I’ve added these mobile email addresses to each person’s contact info in Address Book so I have it quickly available when I want to send them an MMS.

Receiving a picture is where the downsides comes in to play.  Your friends have to remember to address their pix message to whatever email account you have access to through iPhone’s Mail application.  The people who send me picture messages most frequently have learned to send it to my email address rather than my mobile phone number, but for people who don’t know this and send me a picture message, I still get the SMS with a name and password for viewmymessage.com.  I just reply to those and tell them to resend the pix message to my email address.

Also, unless you have your iPhone set to check for new mail every 15 minutes, it could be a while before you even know you’ve got a picture waiting for you.

So there it is, a bit cumbersome in places, but it gets the job done.

One final tip, I use gmail as my primary email address.  Since this is the address I tell friends to send MMS messages to, I created a filter to apply the label ‘Pix Message’ to any email from ‘@vzwpix.com.’  This way I can tag all my MMS messages that come through gmail and organize them for later viewing, adding to iPhoto, etc.

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  1. Reply John White

    Hardly a workaround – this is stating the obvious. If someone hasn’t figured this out, they probably aren’t worried too much about sending/receiving pics from their phone.

  2. Reply acletras

    I agree. It’s not really the same thing, but another method to the desired end result. For the average non-technical user, this isn’t that obvious and they usually don’t know that mobile phone numbers have these email addresses associated with them.

    I’ve had several friends and acquaintances ask me if there was a way to do this, so I decided to write a blog post to which I could point them rather than ramble off the same speech every time.

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