iPA Explains: MMS

Most of you have probably heard by now that AT&T rolled out MMS today for US iPhone owners. But as the day went on, I got the impression that not everyone fully understands what this means. So for this first edition of iPA Explains, I’ll be going over what MMS is, how to get it, and how it works. Let’s begin.

What is MMS and why do I need it? – MMS, which stands for Multimedia Messaging Service, allows you to send pictures and video the same way you send a standard text message– through the Messages app on your iPhone. Why is this better than using email? Well there are several reasons to do it this way, but the most significant reason is that it allows you to send pictures or video to nearly any cell phone, even if it can’t receive email.

What can I send with MMS? – The most popular use for MMS is to send pictures, but it can be used to send quite a few other things as well. For iPhone 3GS owners, MMS can be used to send video shot on their phone to other MMS-capable phones even if they can’t shoot video. The iPhone will also allow you to send contacts, your current location or a dropped pin, and recorded audio using the Voice Memos app.

Which iPhones can send MMS and why wasn’t it there to begin with? – Only the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS can send MMS messages. The original iPhone cannot send MMS.

MMS was introduced as a part of the iPhone OS 3.0 update, although it depends on carrier cooperation. AT&T didn’t support the service initially so that they could improve their network to adequately handle a high volume of MMS messages.

How do I get MMS on my iPhone ? – First, update your iPhone to iPhone OS 3.0 or later. Next you’ll need to install the carrier update from AT&T by plugging in your iPhone, selecting it in iTunes, and clicking the “Check for Update” button under the Summary tab. This message will appear:

Click “Download and Update” and in a few seconds your phone should have MMS enabled.

How do I send an MMS?? – To send an MMS, simply open the Messages app, create a new message or select an existing conversation, and tap the blue camera icon to the left of the text input field. From there you can send a new photo or video, or simply send one you’ve already taken. Once it’s selected you can add another, type some text to go with the message, and then hit “Send”. That’s it!

To send a contact, select the contact you’d like to send using the Phone app, tap “Share Contact,” and select “MMS.”
To send a location, hop over to the Maps app and select the blue GPS dot, tap the blue arrow, select “Share Location,” and then choose “MMS.” You can also do the same using a dropped pin.
To send an audio recording, open up the Voice Memos app, record some audio, select the piece of audio you’d like to send, tap “Share,” and choose “MMS.”

How much does it cost to send an MMS?? – MMS messages count the same way as SMS text messages do. If you have a message plan with AT&T, MMS is now included. You can mix and match MMS and SMS, it doesn’t matter. Both MMS messages and SMS messages count as a “message.”

If you don’t have a messaging plan or if you go over, an will MMS cost $0.30 per message. Standard text messages still cost $0.20.

That’s about it! If we’ve missed anything important, let us know in the coments!

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