07
Nov
gv

Google Voice was a hugely exciting service when it launched a few years back, but it seems like Google has put it on the back burner recently. Maybe things are picking up, though. Just last week Google announced that Voice was finally adding support for MMS, and now there's more news on that front. T-Mobile has opted to allow MMS messages sent from its users to be delivered to Google Voice numbers (sort of).

It's similar to the functionality already live on Sprint. If a T-Mobile users sends an MMS to a Google Voice number, it will display the image in the Voice user's Gmail with an optional SMS notification. Yeah, not the most elegant solution, but it's better than nothing.

Google is continuing to improve support for MMS into both Voice and Hangouts. It seems a strange throwback feature for Google to be worried about, but some folks still demand MMS.

[+Alex Wiesen – Thanks, +JulioLagara]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Zak Taccardi

    I read the "like Sprint" part and got all excited that T-Mobile would be offering full Google Voice integration.

    • Tommy Privette

      Yea me too.... Wish the T-Mo would let the N5 use Wifi Calling. The reception in my building for work is abysmal.

      • vinterchaos

        I can't even get a Nexus because I NEED Wifi calling at my house, where I spend most of my time.

        • Tommy Privette

          I could really use it at work. My desk is in the middle of a large metal constructed building.

        • Paul

          If you use Google voice then just get Groove IP. I use it on my older Android devices that don't have service. Turns them into free WiFi phones.

          • Cory_S

            I'm really curious if people who suggest GrooveIP have ever used it much. I'm not being sarcastic, I'm serious. I tried to use it for a week, but couldn't even get one successful call on it, even on WiFi.

          • https://plus.google.com/+TroyLeonard Troy Leonard

            My youngest daughter has my old galaxy s 4g with Google voice and grooveip perfect solution for her she is five. But the call quality is better than wifi calling from T mobile on the same phone.

          • Paul

            Strange. I used it all the time. I have it on 2 or 3 older devices and use them as "home" phones. Works ok for me but it's been a month or two since I've used them, maybe somethings changed?

          • Aleem Qureshi

            Im presently going to school outside of the US and use GrooveIP on a regular basis, it does take a bit of tweaking and messing with the settings to get crisp clean calls on both ends. but its a hell of alot better than the calling cards and the costs i would incur trying to call back home or having people call me. Of course alot depends on your network connection (mobile or wifi) so YMMV

          • brodie

            except that the voice connection is awful. tried using it on both nexus4 and nexus5, but the person on the other end can only hear every third word

          • ProductFRED

            Wifi calling goes a bit further than that (coming from someone who used to use Voice and now uses a native T-Mobile number). Wifi calling automatically turns off the device radio/modem, and works with SMS and MMS over Wifi because it connects to T-Mobile's servers. Any app can take advantage of this because it's so low-level.

          • Paul_Werner

            Do you know if someone on the $30 prepaid plan can use this? It'd be nice to use this instead of using up any of the 100 minutes a month in the plan. I really don't call a whole lot and can get away with 100 minutes but it'd be nice to not have to monitor that

          • ProductFRED

            I'm on the $30 plan. Wifi Calling uses your minutes. I believe on higher rate plans it doesn't.

          • vinterchaos

            Groove IP says its no longer going to work in May 2014, so it almost seems pointless to bother with it.

      • Philip Arnason

        This should be fixed beginning of the year, but it will be wifi calling for the phone number associated with your Google Voice acocunt, not your Tmobile service.

        • jonathan3579

          I'll happily take VoIP directly from Google for my Google Voice number since they're killing the app(s) I use for it. I guess I got my use out of whatever I paid for GrooveIP so long ago.

        • Erik Knudsen

          source?

          not trying to be a d!ck, just curious

      • ProductFRED

        Wifi calling is built into a ROM 's framework and the phone's kernel. It's not a simple APK. Nexus devices are untouched by carriers, so they can't be modified to add wifi calling.

        • Matt Alexander

          I don't think he's talking about UMA, but rather voice calling using data similar to what the iOS version of GV implemented

          • ProductFRED

            He was definitely talking about T-Mobile's Wifi Calling (which is actually IMS-based now; used to be UMA). There's nothing stopping you from using Google Voice VOIP through several third-party apps for the time being. He specifically said T-Mobile, not Google.

  • Tony Byatt

    I've had that capability ever since I switched to Google Voice and T-Mobile back in March. This is nothing new...

    • Isidro Cunningham

      I've always been able to receive a mms notification sent to my inbox letting me know I have a mms that was sent to my email.

      • andy_o

        It always did when the sender was on Sprint.

        • Isidro Cunningham

          I've never had Sprint. Always been with T-Mobile

          • andy_o

            The sender, not you.

          • Isidro Cunningham

            I just checked all of the senders and yes they all were either Sprint or Boost customers that sent the mms to my GV#.

  • jab416171

    We're halfway there! Now we just need Verizon and AT&T to offer support.

    • Guest

      1/2 of the way there. Sprint and T-Mobile together almost make up 1/3 of the phone subscribers.

  • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

    What what wahtttttt!!! Soooo Happy! :D

  • jonathan3579

    You know what's funny is that I've been able to receive MMS for over 6 months now although it's been hit or miss. I'm glad to see it's finally official now.

  • nick

    I just had an attempted drive by install of mobomarket.apk when I visited this page

    • jonathan3579

      Stop your lying.

  • Michael Mayhew

    Lack of MMS may not seem like a big deal if you're not a heavy Google Voice user since it's just as easy to email a picture from a phone but what I run into is people send me MMS messages to my Google Voice number and they go into a black hole. I do not get any kind of notification that I was sent a message and the sender doesn't get any sort of failure message. That is a terrible user experience.

    • ProductFRED

      MMS is also the backbone for group texting, so it's a lot more important than that.

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      • David Z

        Oh dang really? I got dinged once when I was supposed to receive a group message but never got it. But whenever my friend on Sprint sends a group message I get it. Never really connected the two together.

    • Cory_S

      My wife complains about this to me daily. I really wish they'd modernize the service.

  • moelsen8

    MMS may seem like a throwback until people send you stuff that disappears. Not even just pictures.. group text messages are MMS messages.....

  • mgamerz

    Does this work for prepaid? I don't know if my $30 a month plan even has MMS...

    • Spasillium

      I'm on the same plan and it has MMS. Just tested sending one from my T-Mobile number to my Google Voice number. It comes through as "MMS Received" in your messaging app but you have to open Gmail to see the image.

  • Paul

    Now if they'd just fix the "This call is being recorded" issue that'd be good to. Randomly Google will record my phone calls.

    • Seth Thompson

      I bet that's b/c your cheek is hitting "4"

      • Cory_S

        One time I did that while my GF was screaming at me. It didn't help.

  • Axel

    Just tested it and it works... kinda The Google Voice app pops up with an alert saying you have an MMS msg. Nothing else. But you get an email saying, "MMS from XXX" with the image.

    • andrew borrelli

      So I just tried it and didn't get any notification on google voice. I have T-mobile pre-paid 60 dollar plan. I sent an MMS picture via hangouts to my google voice number and got no notification. How are you doing it?

      • Axel

        Straight picture message from a postpaid T-Mobile phone to my Google Voice number.

  • Paul

    I guess this is good. Sometimes I have a hard time explaining to family members why they can text me at my main (my google voice) number but they can't send me pictures, they have to use this alternate (my real) number. Gets confusing for them.

    • Sir_Brizz

      I just tell people that sending pictures via text is stupid, so they email them to me instead.

      • Cory_S

        I've tried to tell people that, their eyes glaze over, then they look at me like I'm too poor to afford MMS.

        • Sir_Brizz

          I tell them I am too poor to get fisted by carriers. They seem to understand that.

    • esper256

      I always just tell people "when you send pictures by MMS" they are resized and compressed into tiny postage stamp sizes. Just email them and I get the whole picture. Then it's a moot point.

  • Isidro Cunningham

    Am I the only one that's been receiving those "MMS RECEIVED" notification since July of 2012

  • dmsrfl

    hopefully t-mobile figures out a way to do it right. I've been using gvoice on sprint for about 2 years and it only worked ONCE. It just doesn't work and I've tried everything to fix it.

  • johnforamerica

    I have Sprint with Google Voice integrated (my google voice number is my cell number, not a separate number). I read all over that this works for Sprint with the GV integration, yet it's NEVER worked for me.

    I don't see any setting to change on either the Google Voice site or Sprint's website. Am I missing something? Is it just supposed to work automatically since I'm "Google Voice enabled", or am I missing something?

  • WHO?

    So now 3 carriers can send mms to Google voice. Tmobile sprint and metropcs

  • Mystery Man

    DAT icon

  • NF

    I just got a photo and video today from a T-mobile device and it definitely surprised me. It forwards them to my flip phone too (which is T-mobile) so it works pretty well. Now they just need to upgrade the Android client to support this feature.