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SMS and MMS

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 off—that 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 SMS—truly 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 me—not!” Once I hit Send, that MMS message with the photo and audio will pop up on your screen within minutes. Ah, glorious technology—bringing the art of bragging to new heights (or lows).


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