Feature Article

November 08, 2013

T-Mobile Customers Will Get MMS Forwarding From Google Voice

Google Voice is an Internet based service designed to allow you to give other people one phone number where they can reach you. This number can then be forwarded to multiple phones. What that means is that if you switch jobs, or change phone services, move, or even go on vacation, your phone number stays the same for people trying to reach you.

Hangouts is a free video chat service from Google that enables both one-on-one chats and group chats with as many as ten people at a time. While is similar to other apps like Skype and FaceTime, Google Hangouts focuses more on face-to-face-to-face, etc. group interaction as opposed to one-on-one video chats.

With the recent release of the Nexus 5, Hangouts will be able to integrate seamlessly with SMS messaging. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Google Voice. You will only be able to use SMS in Hangouts version 2 through your regular carrier number. The plan is to have Google Voice integrated into Hangouts sometime early next year.

It seems that one of the most heavily requested features for Google Voice has been Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) support. While voice and text has been okay with Google Voice for Android, sending pictures has always been an unresolved issue.

Looks like Google figured out a workaround to this problem. While it is true that Google Voice can display MMS photos, Gmail can. So the obvious workaround is to redirect MMS photos sent through Google Voice to your Gmail account.

Of course this requires that the user be notified that they now have a message. At that time, they can open their Gmail account and view the image that was sent. As of November 7, 2013, T-Mobile has enabled this same function for Voice users on its network,

A Google employee named Alex Wiesen had the following to say on Google+, “We’re happy to announce this week another step towards improving MMS support for Google Voice. T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users. Similar to MMS messages from Sprint users, these messages will appear in Gmail and you can be notified of the message via SMS. We continue to work with other carriers to broaden support for messaging and bring MMS to Hangouts. More good things are coming!”

Mobile Burn wrote the following, “To be clear, you do not need to be a T-Mobile customer to receive MMS forwarding with Google Voice. Anyone can access that feature; the only way for MMS to forward to Gmail properly is for the sender to be a T-Mobile or Sprint customer.”

Doesn’t this, in fact, mean that the only way it will work properly is if you are a Sprint or T-Mobile customer? Is Google working to have AT&T and Verizon supported as well? I guess that we will have to wait until next year and see if Google Voice will actually be integrated with Hangouts.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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