Google Voice’s Shoddy MMS Rollout
I have been a longtime user of Google Voice. It is an excellent service with many great features. I’ve written about it before, but today I want to rant about it’s lack of a key feature — MMS text messaging. Hello, Google, are you listening? I complained about this back in early 2011.
My patience has run out on waiting for Google to implement MMS. I use Google Voice as my primary texting messaging system but as such, I still cannot send or receive pictures in my text messages.
Granted, I personally think that text messaging by definition should not involve multimedia content like photos, but the fact is that real users expect and demand it. I’m tired of explaining to people that I cannot get texts with pictures. When someone texts me a photo, I receive absolutely nothing on my end. I have to ask people to use my real mobile number, or send the photo via email. It confuses people that I have to give them two phone numbers.
I was reading a blog post that the Google Voice team wrote back in October 2011 where they announced that MMS was finally being rolled out. Fast-forward six months later to April and I just received my first MMS message with a photo this week. I received a text message that read: “MMS Received.” I had to then check my Gmail account to read an email from Google with the picture attached. I think that is an acceptable way to make this work and I don’t really have a problem with that methodology. I was thrilled! But my excitement was short-lived.
Here is the kicker! According to Google, this half-assed MMS system will only work when the person composing the text message is a Sprint customer. Say what?! That is completely and utterly inexcusable! It’s bad enough that I still cannot compose my own MMS messages, but now I can only receive them from users of only one phone company? Come the hell on. I literally only know three people who use Sprint. Useless.
I want Google get their act together and make MMS work fully across the board for everyone. At the same time, the Google Voice iPhone app needs a complete do-over. It’s ridiculous that a company with such vast resources and talent has not made this happen.