MMS Still Sucks

image WATCH this video

So yesterday I was playing with my updated Nokia 7610 (which has happily become my default phone since the production model has fixed almost all the flaws of the early version I had - review coming *very* soon) and there's this neat video app which produces short MMS-able "muvees" automatically from a longer videos you may have taken. It adds a little music soundtrack to the back, etc. I think I linked to one before, but there's a link above to the one I created.

So, I attached it to an MMS message and sent it to Ana, who has inherited my Nokia 6600. There's no reason in the world for her not to be able to view the video - it's short enough, the phone supports it, etc. And since we're both AT&T Wireless customers, there should be no problem with interop between carriers - which here in the U.S. is even worse than it is in other countries.

Off it went, and then later, I called to see how Ana enjoyed the little video. "What video?", she asked. She went to her phone and yep, there's no MMS waiting for her. There *still* isn't any video waiting for her. Not even one of those SMSes which link to a page saying that the MMS is waiting somewhere online for pickup. Nothing. And not only did she not get the message, I never got anything in return either. Nothing that said, "your message was not delivered."

At this point I'm think I'm going to set up a separate white-listed email account for Ana and my phone, and some sort of SMS alert service: "you have a new phone email waiting." And then we can just swap over to the email app, and grab the message. It'd be 1000 times more reliable than the current MMS setup, no?

The only damn justification MMS has for living is the "it just works" factor. You get a new MMS enabled camera phone and MMS works just as easily as SMS. If you take that out, then MMS just doesn't make any sense: It's not as quick and easy as SMS, it's not as functional as email, and it's not as instant as Chat. It's a freakin' mutant. It has no fallback: if MMS doesn't just work, it's completely useless. Email and Chat are worth struggling a bit with settings to get working, but MMS? There's too much infrastructure you don't control and too much magic behind the scenes. It either works or it's garbage.



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