Group Messaging in Mango: the MMS gambit

We actually heard about this little issue from our own Jay Bennett, but others have taken note as well. In short, when using the Group Messaging feature in Mango, by default the messages will use the MMS format instead of SMS. The reason for this is not too clear, though it has something to do with trying to keep all the messages grouped together in a thread (perhaps someone with more knowledge can explain in comments).

However, you can (and probably should) turn this off.  Like a lot of folks, you may have a limited monthly allotment of MMS messages and you be charged a ton for a 'few' conversations otherwise. To disable this feature, simply go to Settings --> Applications --> Messaging and turn off the MMS part. So what about Group Messaging? Well, as far as we know, it still works but will now use the SMS method. Only downside, which we have to verify, is that it might not group properly. Still, that's a small inconvenience versus a large, unexpected bill at the end of the month, no?

Big thanks to 'We Love Windows Phone' for the tip and screen shots.


Reader comments

Group Messaging in Mango: the MMS gambit


Yeah I got stung with extra MMS charges before i realised that it was the Groups that were doing it. I wrongly assumed they were standard SMS's. Thankfully I realised sooner rather than later.

is useless although it has group msg as mango are not coming at the end of august n 1st of september.whats the point?rumor spread again n again. haiz...

I have unlimited SMS in my tarif, but not MMS... However since I've been able to send emails from my phone, I don't think I've sent a single MMS.

Thanks for the info, I guess I never looked in the messaging settingsKind of a silly default, considering that most people don't have unlimited MMS plans.

Interesting, in many plans in the US text messaging and MMS (what was picture and video messaging) are considered the same for billing purposes.

I have unlimited MMS and SMS so it doesn't matter to me. If your wireless provider is gauging you for MMS messages you really need to switch.

This is happening because, like e-mail, MMS supports metadata that identifies the conversation. If you had to use SMS, there are no headers in the metadata of the message that might indicate other recipients or the subject of the message. Consider this: once you began receiving replies from recipients of your group message, how would the phone know whether to group those replies into the group thread? They could be part of a separate conversation that should be shown individually in a private thread. By using MMS, the phone is able to distinguish your group conversations from your individual ones.

Thanks for the technical reasoning behind this, I forget how many MMS i get per month for free, but I don't plan on doing much, if any, group messaging.

In north america, most carriers do not distinguish mms from sms for billing and most offer inexpensive or bundled messaging at a discount. MMS in this case is very useful for tracking mutliple recipient messaging. I like the feature and glad it is the default.

those who are complaining about this really should just consider complaining to their carriers or change carriers altogether. getting charged for MMS separately is so 2003

All the major carriers here in the US group SMS and MMS together. If you pay for unlimited SMS, you get unlimited MMS too. I didn't realize there were still carriers that billed the two separately.