MMS iPhone Update

MMS: noun. Abbreviation for Multimedia Messaging Service, an enhancement to the SMS (Short Messaging Service). In English: with MMS, you can still “text” someone, but now you can send a picture, or a video, or a sound.

This feature was part of Apple’s 3.0 upgrade a few months ago, and lots of people have been using it ever since– except not in the United States, where AT&T couldn’t get its network ready in time. AT&T is ready now, and you can start using MMS today. Unless you’re using an original iPhone, in which case you can’t. Sorry about that. Those are AT&T’s rules.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac with a cable. iTunes should start automatically. (If it doesn’t, launch iTunes yourself)
  2. Click on your iPhone in the left-hand pane of iTunes.
  3. Look for an “Update” button. Click it.
  4. You will probably see a window like this one:

update to the carrier settings dialog box
Click Update Settings, turn off your iPhone, turn it back on, and you’re ready to go. (The turning off and turning on is very important.)

After the restart, start the Messaging app, as if you were going to text someone. You’ll see a camera icon next to where you type– that’s new. If you touch it you’ll get a chance to use the camera to take a photo or video, or to choose an existing photo (or video). You get to write a note to go with it, and then you can send it. Yay.

Too bad that it doesn’t always work the way you want it to. What you’re expecting, I imagine, is that the person on the other end gets your message, complete with photo or video. A lot of the time that’s exactly how it will work. Sometimes, though, it won’t. The reason: the person on the other end doesn’t have a new enough phone. How are you supposed to know what kind of phone the other person has? Beats me. Luckily it doesn’t really matter because you can always use your iPhone to send pictures via email, just as you’ve been doing all along. But, if you know the other person has a modern phone, MMS can be sort of handy. And fun.


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