Okay, now that your mind is sufficiently numb from thinking about all that text messaging has to offer, consider the new kid on the block: Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS). Think of it as Text Trek: The Next Generation. MMS picks up where text messaging left offthat is, if sending a text message is analogous to sending an email, then sending a MMS message would be like sending that same email with photos, video, or audio embedded in it. Basically, MMS is like sending a tiny PowerPoint presentation. An MMS message consists of one or more pages of photos combined with text and/or audio or video.
MMS messaging is becoming increasingly popular as camera phones take root. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand thumb-typed words. Describing a scene with text is harder than just sending a quick snapshot. MMS allows users to send images and audio with the immediacy of a phone call, but with the passivity of SMStruly the best of both worlds. Picture this: I'm sitting on the beach in Maui and I decide to rub it in your face. Using my camera phone, I take a shot of the beautiful waves rolling in against an impossibly blue sky and then record myself saying something taunting like, "It's so beautiful here! Wish you were with menot!" Once I hit Send, that MMS message with the photo and audio will pop up on your screen within minutes. Ah, glorious technologybringing the art of bragging to new heights (or lows).
The catch here is that SMS is a mature technology, but MMS is still in its infancy. Many phones and carriers that easily support SMS do not yet support MMS, and those that do often charge extra for it. For example, AT&T Wireless charges 10¢ per SMS message, and 40¢ per MMS message. So, send those MMS messages with care. Also, even if you're one of the chosen few who has an MMS-capable phone, you may be speaking an alien tongue to the many more pedestrian SMS-capable mobile phones on the planet. Do yourself a favor and check with your recipients (via SMS?) to ensure they can receive your glorious MMS messages. Sore feet are the price you pay for dancing on the cutting edge.