Update: I have written a new post about problems with O2 MMS on iPhone 3.0 firmware, check it out
We all know that as good as the iPhone is (all though not as good as the new iPhone 3G S), it’s certainly not without it’s flaws, one of those major flaws is the fact that MMS messaging won’t work on the device, however, by a round-a-bout twist of fate i have discovered how you can get FULL MMS messaging working on the iPhone. It requires some sweet talking to your service provider but you can get it working in a few steps. [Click to Jump directly to info]
If you bought an iPhone directly through O2 and you receive an MMS message then you will get a text message on the iPhone telling you that you have an MMS message and you have to check online, this is fine since the iPhone doesn’t have any software to display MMS messages but it becomes a BIG problem if you are putting your sim card into another phone, e.g a Nokia N96.
Since i do swap my sim cards round quite a bit i was becoming extremely frustrated at not being able to send or receive MMS messages. I rang O2 and spoke to a very pleasant customer services rep who switched MMS messaging on for me. Apparently it is turned off at the service providers end as they didn’t think that anyone who bought an iPhone would need the ability to send MMS.
So i managed to get to send a MMS messages from my N96 but when i received an MMS i would still get the stupid text message saying that i needed to look online. I rang O2 again and asked them to switch off the text message and just have the MMS delivered straight to the inbox, and was told very rudely that this was not possible. I stated that i was told it could be done and the customer services guy told me that i was “told wrong”. Thanks mate!
Not wanting to give up hope i had a search around the net and found the following forum discussion about this topic with many people saying that they had managed to get this working with a friendly customer services representative. Not wanting to give up hope i decided to call once more, only to be told again that it wasn’t possible. I was getting extremely frustrated.
I felt that phoning up constantly wasn’t getting me anywhere so decided to fire an email off to O2. One thing to note here is that the text box on the O2 website doesn’t allow you to write much more than one paragraph before telling you that the text you have entered is too long. Guess what though? It doesn’t actually give you a character counter to tell you how many characters are acceptable. After tweaking the message about 8 times, i *sighed* and hit send.
The response i got back was the typical “Here is a step by step guide to see MMS messages on your iPhone, and there is no way we can allow for MMS messages to come straight through to your N96 when the sim is inserted”, time to step it up a gear me thinks.
So i reply back giving it the angry customer email, you know the type? I have been a customer for years, i spend X amount per month on my contract, i think i will be looking else where for my new contract, blah blah blah. Low and behold i get an email back saying that the switch has been made and i can now receive MMS messages directly to my inbox… Chewie 1 – O2 0… well actually it was more like Chewie 1 – O2 3, either way it was a nice victory.
So after that i gots-a-thinking, if this is working on my N96, could i get an MMS application for the iPhone and then have the MMS working through that? I turns out that there is an application called SwirlyMMS which you can obviously only download if you have a jailbroken phone? I decided to get my old 2g iPhone out and jailbreak it using the ridiculously easy QuickPwn for mac.
After rebuilding the 2.2 package i flashed my old iPhone and loaded up Cydia, found SwirlyMMS and decided to give it a whirl. I got the O2 MMS settings sent automatically by pretending that i had a Sony Ericsson device (you can do this direct from SwirlyMMS) and was ready to go.
I attached a picture to my message and sent it successfully. I waited with baited breath for about 1 minute after exiting back to the home screen and heard the new text message received tone. I picked up the iPhone and looked at the screen, the MMS had been delivered directly to SwirlyMMS’s inbox… fuck yeah!
So, if you want to get MMS working on the iPhone then you are going to have to do two things. The first is that you need to jailbreak your phone and install SwirlyMMS from Cydia. Please be aware that this does void your warranty (although it is easy just to wipe your phone and put the official firmware back on). The second thing is that you are going to have to fight tooth and nail with O2 to get them to switch on MMS messaging for your contract. I am unsure if other people around the world with have the same restrictions so you might want to try just sending the MMS before ringing your provider.
It’s worth noting that no where in the O2 iPhone terms and conditions does it say that MMS will be disabled on your contract, so that might be a leg to stand on?
Also, if you can’t get the settings automatically then you can use these…
Access point name: wap.o2.co.uk (contract customers) or payandgo.o2.co.uk (pay-as-you-go customers)
Username: o2wap (contract customers) or payandgo (pay-as-you-go customers)
Data bearer: GPRS
Gateway IP (proxy) address: 22.214.171.124
Session mode: Permanent
Port number: 8080 or 9201
URL address: http://mmsc.mms.o2.co.uk:8002
Hope that helps, let me know how you get on in the comments.