Google Voice

Some great news for Google Voice users has arrived today. MMS support has now become a priority and is slowly rolling out to users accounts. As noted on the Google Voice Blog:

MMS has been one of the constant feature requests since we launched Google Voice and we’ve been hard at work trying to make this happen.

Today, we're happy to announce that we've made the first step in our efforts to bring this feature to our users. Google Voice users are now able to receive pictures and other multimedia messages from Sprint subscribers. The multimedia attachments will display on their mobile forwarding phone and in their email inbox when they enable text to email forwarding in their Google Voice settings. We are also planning on making them display in the Google Voice inbox.

We are working with other mobile operators to make this work across all mobile phones and will update our users as more and more operators offer support for this.

Posted by Ilya Frank, Senior Software Engineer

For now, only Sprint customers can make use of the MMS features but as noted -- Google is working with other carriers to have it implemented as soon as possible. Anyone been waiting on this?

Source: Google Voice Blog


Reader comments

Google Voice slowly gaining MMS support


this is GREAT now i dont have to use the messanger app on my phone and I can just use voice. Now my Tablet, computer, and phone can be in sync!!!

oh btw first

This is great for people who want this feature, but I for one do not want Google "Voice" to handle my text messaging. I fully integrated my Sprint phone with Google Voice, only to un-integrate it because I couldn't find a way to disable Google voice's handling of my text messages. I wish there was a way to fully integrate and have my text messages to go to my phone's text messaging app, not Google Voice's.

That's pretty easy to fix. You just turn notifications off in google voice then turn forwarding on? Or something like that. Google it. You're already on the internet. Nothing beats banging out messages from your keyboard. Or finding that obscure message from months ago using google search.

Actually I searched Google for hours trying to find a way to turn it off back when I did the integration. At the time, my understanding was there was no way to disable it. This was shortly after Sprint and Google started offering the integration. However, I noticed in a comment below that someone said you can now disable text messaging, so that must be a recent change.

No it has always been there. On initial setup you can choose how you want voice set up and if you do not know what your looking at you will do a full integration. I for one use Google voice for voice mail only and that is how I always set it up. Trust me I have flashed ROMS hundreds of times and go through this every time I set up a new ROM.

It's not the same if you're on Sprint, so you flashing hundred of ROMs is irrelevant to his situation. Voice integration is much different on Sprint and there's no way to use Google Voice just for your voice mail because of it.

Your wording is confusing are you saying that you can or cannot use Google voice for voice mail only on Sprint? BTW I have been on Sprint the last twelve years so yes flashing a bunch of ROMS on Sprint does mean something.

I'm just curious, what don't you like about GV's SMS feature? I've been using GV for calls and text since before I started using Android phones, so I've never really used any Android native messaging app.

Yeah it's not that bad. I just have always thought the native Android messaging app was much nicer. Although, using Voice has its advantages of course, like answering texts via a web browser, etc.

The latest version of Google Voice Android app (after the Sprint integration went live) has this option. In Settings -> Sync and Notifications -> Receive text messages = Also via the messaging app. This makes SMS notifications by Voice app unavailable, but there is a separate checkbox for Voicemail notifications.

Yeah, this isn't what I was looking for. If I integrate my number with Google Voice and someone sends me a text to my Sprint number, which has now been converted to my Google Voice number, then there is no way for Google Voice not to handle it. It's all or nothing. If I set my phone to not "receive text messages" on Google Voice, then I won't receive any texts sent to my cell #. It's not a huge deal though, because I still use Google Voice, just not the full integration with Sprint.

I just checked. I sent an SMS to my Sprint # (which is integrated to a DIFFERENT GV#). The phone messaging app showed notification. GV app did not. I can manually check Google Voice (in Android app or desktop browser) and see that SMS. (I assume it is the same if Sprint # is GV #, but I am not sure.)
Is this what you try to achieve?

You are wrong, wrong, wrong. I have my number integrated with Google Voice and I do this all the time. You can set the texts to go to phone and not the GV App, so you can continue to use the stock application and use the website for web texting.

Go to Settings, Sync and notifications, and set the Receive text messages option for "Also Via the messaging app" and then just disable text notifications on the GV App. Now you get texts on your stock app, but no alerts on the GV app so you won't have duplicate alerts. They redid the wording of the options but this was still available since day one of Sprint + GV Integration, you just had to do it from the website. I know, because at first I refused to use the GV app because it was so buggy so I set it to go to the stock app and just used the website.

GV for text messages is Awesome. Especially if you want to send a text message from your pc instead of the phone, while you're at work etc. with the MMS support, now I can get everything someone sends me. Nothing but Good in my opinion.

This is huge for me. I just ported my old number to Google Voice last month so I could keep it (I hate switching phone numbers). I didn't realise at the time that GV didn't do MMS, so I didn't realize if I was or was not getting messages people were sending me.

This is perfect timing, it would be great to not have to worry about getting all my messages.

the problem for me is when sprint cant send my text because the data side is overloaded. i had to switch back to the messaging app so my texts would go thru standard protocol and not data.

so i switched to voice as my main messanger for 10 min. Hated it. the UI kind of blows and my pics are all out of date. I like the Messaging app on my phone better.


now i can get MMS on my tablet. THIS IS HUGE. because thats the only messager i have on my wifi only galaxy tab

I for one am excited about this when it hit's Verizon's network. I already use GV to txt my non-Verizon people because I have unlimited Verizon txt’s and 50 additional txt's for other networks. My friends on AT&T txt me all the time on GV and I'm sure they want to send me pictures to laugh at as well. This is VERY good news indeed, I'll be waiting to use this on day one with Verizon.

This is HUGE! No longer will I have to pay a greedy phone company for a texting plan. Sprint of course is the only one cooperating because they include texting in their plans for free, so they aren't losing anything. ATT and VZW charge extra for texting. I pay $15 a month for texting on two lines and neither is unlimited. It would cost me another 15 a month for true unlimited. I'm paying them enough. Texting uses next to no bandwith for them. It was free 10 years ago, but phones were made to text easily so no one did it. Once they started making phones with keyboards, people started using it, so the carriers started charging for it. I already use GV for texting to other carriers. Now if I can use MMS, I can ditch my carrier number altogether. Give out the GV number for calls, texts....everything. It won't matter about porting a phone number again. And the fact that GV works for phone calls over wifi, you can use it as your home phone and ditch a home phone.

You install the app.

Can't make calls, but all the other functions of GV work on tablets with wifi only.

Check out the GrooveIP app. I use it when I am in an area where I would incur expensive roaming charges.

Sure, as long as you can live with one major show stopper restriction:

** NOTE ** To receive incoming calls you MUST go into your Google Voice account and forward calls to Google Chat. You may also need to sign out of Google Chat or Google Talk in other locations as calls are only routed to one sign-in.

I'm on google talk on all my devices. Couldn't live without it.

I don't understand why this is so long in coming, and why the carriers have to be involved.

As long as the GV app has a data connection, you can send text SMS messages to any valid number, so why the big deal with MMS messages?

Why does it rely on any action from the carriers?

Google voice is a must have app. Love knowing i'll always have access to this phone number. Even if I lose my phone or change carriers. No mms support was my only complaint. I don't see how mms has anything to do with the carriers. Google servers are recieving my call, text and mms sent to my Google voice number. Why cant the figure out way to put a mms in my Google voice in box. It seems to me a data thing.

You can already send SMS to any carrier.

MMS is just more of the same, (multiple SMS messages back to back).

The only thing I can think of is carriers refusing to carry the additional data due to the loss of revenue some how.
Doesn't make sense to me either.

"Google Voice users are now able to receive pictures and other multimedia messages from Sprint subscribers." I am a Sprint customer, use my Sprint number with full integration with GV, but how in the heck do I send a mms with GV on the phone or tablet? Or am I not understanding this article?

From what I am gathering from this and reading a couple forum threads is that it directs it to the normal messaging app. I am not totally sure about that as I adjust starting to set my phone for full integration with GV. But to send a MMS would be as simple as sending it by share option in gallery and sending via message app. If that makes sense. Or maybe I am completely off here.

Did you not read the article? "Google Voice users are now able to receive pictures and other multimedia messages from Sprint subscribers."

Sounds like a good thing to me. i have no texting on my phone plan (but unlimited data on Verizon), so use GV for all my texting, which admittedly isn't much. Recently my son in law was wanting to send me some pics and after trying a couple mms, he talked with me and I told him wouldn't work, but just e-mail them. anyway, this is only going to get better, now just add full VOIP and I won't need any minutes either.

This has been a long time coming, but if you enable Text To Email Forwarding wouldn't that mean a copy of every single SMS message you receive would be sent to your email inbox? That would be highly annoying and a definite deal breaker.

I suppose you could create a filter for them to be marked as read and automatically archived..but that defeats the purpose if you're receiving MMS messages that way too.

Sweet and merciful Oprah Winfrey! It's about time...c'mon so that I can ditch my messaging plan with AT&T and take a little bit of money out of their pockets. The lack of MMS support on Google Voice has been the only reason that I have kept my messaging plan.