Droid Bionic: Multimedia Text Messages
Your Droid Bionic can be used to send and receive messages with pictures and other multimedia items. This type of message has its own acronym, MMS, which stands for Multimedia Messaging Service.
You can send pictures, video, and audio using multimedia messaging.
There’s no need to run a separate program or do anything fancy to send media in a text message; the same Text Messaging app is used on the Droid Bionic for sending both text and media messages.
Not every mobile phone can receive MMS messages. Rather than receive the media item, the recipient may be directed to a web page where the item can be viewed on the Internet.
Not every phone is capable of receiving multimedia messages.
Be aware of the size limit on the amount of media you can send; try to keep your video and audio attachments brief.
An easier way to send a multimedia message is to start with the source, such as a picture or video stored on your phone. Use the Share command or button (refer to the icon) and choose MMS to share that media item.
Some video attachments can be too large for a multimedia message. The phone warns you when it happens.
The Slideshow option presents a second screen, where you collect pictures from the Gallery. Use the icons on top of this screen to add pictures from the Gallery. Use the Preview button to examine the slideshow.
The Name Card option displays the phone’s address book. Choose a contact and that contact’s information is then translated into a vCard file and attached to your text message. A vCard is a contact-information file format, commonly used by e-mail programs and contact management software. Whether the recipient can do anything with a vCard in a multimedia text message is up to the recipient’s phone software.
Receiving a multimedia message
A multimedia attachment comes into your Droid Bionic just like any other text message does, but you see a thumbnail preview of whichever media was sent, such as an image, a still from a video, or a Play button to listen to audio.
To preview the attachment, touch it. To do more with the multimedia attachment, long-press it. Choose how to deal with the attachment by selecting an option from the menu that’s displayed.
For example, to save an image attachment, long-press the image thumbnail and choose the Save Picture command.
Some types of attachments, such as audio, cannot be saved.
Text messaging alternatives
Life doesn’t turn totally dismal when you find yourself unduly bound by text message limitations on your cell phone contract. Just because you’re limited to sending (and receiving) only 250 messages a month doesn’t mean that you and your friends must stay horribly out of touch or that your thumbs will atrophy from lack of typing.
A smattering of free alternatives to text messaging are available, all of which use the Internet and two of which come preinstalled on the Droid Bionic.
Talk: The Talk app connects you with the Google Talk service on the Internet. It’s not really a texting app, but, rather, a chat app. You can summon a list of friends, all configured from your Google account, and chat it up — as long as they’re available. My advice is to configure Google Talk on your computer first, and then you can find the same friends available on your Droid Bionic.
Skype: The Skype app can be used to chat as well, if you’ve set up a slew of friends and they also have Skype or the full-fledged Skype program on their desktop computers. Chatting on Skype is easy and free.
Of course, these apps use the Internet, so if your phone has a data restriction, you face, theoretically, a surcharge for using more Internet than your cell phone plan allows. Even so, text applications such as Google Talk and Skype (chat) tend not to eat up much in terms of Internet usage. So type away!