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.

Author: Craig Tisinger


15 thoughts on “Google Voice’s Shoddy MMS Rollout”

  1. Im a sprint customer. I can send and receive fine from sprint and (boost mobile, virgin), att. For t-mobile i can only send and not receive. metro pcs i can receive and not send. And for verizon i can’t do either.

  2. I just got my first GV MMS from an AT&T user to my T-Mobile phone with the GV app. It said “MMS Received” and when I went to email, voila! seems I won’t be able to send until they have full support since I have all messaging blocked on my phone. Pretty cool though. I’m excited that this is rolling out

    1. I have tested it a few times recently, sending a MMS message from my ATT number to my GV number (using same phone.) I never get my own messages.

  3. I have a verizon phone and ATT phone both with the google voice app, and I cant send or recieve pics on either account.

  4. Yea, I just received a text with the persons message (didn’t even mention anything about MMS or attachment) when I just happened to be checking my gmail a few second later I saw the message with the contact info (.vcf) they had attached! This never happened before so I just googled it and found the same as you. The person was also from Sprint, def still not working from any other carrier.

    It should at least tell me MMS declined or something so I know they tried to send me something. Now I see the person a few days later and they ask me if I saw the picture they sent me and am left like “wtf”.

    I use GV for everything, and honestly even with this gaping hole don’t plan on stopping. But it is a pain in the ass, I basically just tell people they can’t text me photos instead of trying to explain. Funny looks when you got a kick ass Nexus and you tell people you can’t get MMS, they just don’t understand.

    I use t-mo by the way, so can’t send or receive MMS either.

  5. I agree with you 100%. It’s unimaginable that a ccompany with such vast resources could actually hold their head and put their name to such a shoddy and IMCOMPLETE service. I could MAYBE excuse such ameturish work from a start-up company, but not Google. You should be ashamed to put your name to such a shameless product..

  6. I did receive one MMS message a few weeks ago – it was forwarded to my email. But the odd thing is that for that one MMS that made it through I did not have my settings set to forward text messages to my email, but it was forwarded anyway.

    I don’t want text forwarding to email enabled anyway – who wants to receive hundreds of texts in one’s email?

    Today I’ve had a few friends try to send me mms and even with text forwarding on, no mms got through to my email or to my connected cell phone.

  7. For someone using a free service you sure are demanding. I want MMS for Google Voice too, but at the end of the day it’s a free service, and implementing MMS is NOT cheap.

  8. I hate it when people compose long rants over a free service. Consider using your cell phone only, so you’ll have nothing to complain about… or at least your complaints will be based on a service you actually have to pay for.

    1. Just because you’re not paying with money doesn’t mean it’s a free service. We put our time and energy into these apps which is worth a lot more to me than some cash value. I hate it when people don’t understand the true cost of things. Google is getting brand recognition and many other things out of this ‘free’ service. Wake up.

  9. The Google Voice iPhone app is ridiculously bad. I’ve jumped ship on Voice. I use it to make calls to friends in Canada, but that’s the extent of it for now. As with other services Google rolls out: Great idea, poor execution.

  10. Now, finally, after all this time, in October 2014, Google has added MMS to Google Voice. The attachments still arrive in the form of a mere notification, and you still have to open an email to see the MMS attachment. It is better than nothing, I guess. It’s about time they finally added this long awaited feature.

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