AT&T iPhone MMS Arrives Today -- Here's a Walkthrough!

iPhone MMS - AT&T Late Summer

Today's the day everyone on AT&T has been waiting for -- MMS lands now. Well, now-ish, because AT&T is doing a rolling roll-out, and we'll see how the network holds up.

AT&T MMS Update: We know you’ve been eager for this service so we wanted to offer a quick update on the launch plans for MMS on Friday, Sept. 25. Late morning, Pacific Time, on Friday, the new carrier settings update enabling MMS should be live and ready to download through iTunes. We’ll provide the steps and all of the details you need right here at that time.

If you're waiting for MMS to come your way -- whether to use or just to check off your AT&T bucket list -- check out our MMS for iPhone walkthrough after the break so you're ready when yours lights up. And when it does light up, let us know when and where in the comments so we can cheer (and those nearby can lose their minds with anticipointment!)

iPhone 3.0/3.1 MMS Walkthrough

iphone_30_icon_messagesMessages is the new SMS, and is renamed to signify the addition of MMS (multi-media messaging service). It allows, in the case of the new iPhone OS 3.0 software, for you to receive, vCards (contacts), audio, location, and -- for iPhone 3GS only -- video to be sent using the Messages interface to any other smartphone or feature-phone that supports MMS and those file types.

Once you receive an MMS, you can tap the icon in the message bubble to get a better look at it. In the case of a contact, you'll see a page similar to what you get when you call up a contact in Phone, except at the very bottom you'll have extra, saving and sharing related options that we'll cover later in the Phone app section.

Location opens in Google Maps as you'd expect, audio and video in iPod, and images pop up full screen where you can tap the share icon to Save Image -- but strangely not re-share it...

When it comes to sending MMS, only picture sending can be initiated from within the Messages app itself. Everything else starts a "share" function from another app (i.e. Share Contact is in Contacts, Share Location is in Google Maps, Share Audio is in Voice Recorder, etc.)

There are two ways to insert a picture into MMS. The first is to tap the camera icon, bottom right. A requester will ask if you want to Take Photo or Choose Existing. Take Photo will call up an embedded version of the Camera app. Frame your picture, tap the camera icon, look at the preview and either hit Retake to try again or Use to insert the picture into your MMS window. (If you want to erase it later, just backspace over it like you would a text character you want to delete)


Choose Existing will call up an image picker (like the Photo App). Pick an Album, pick a picture, and tap Choose to confirm.

The second way to insert a picture into MMS is to paste it...

iphone_30_icon_cut-copy-pasteThe new, system-wide Cut, Copy, and Paste service has also been introduced into Messages. It works in a similar way to the implementation in the Notes app, and we'll cover it more fully there. One difference is that double tapping a previous SMS will give you the Copy popup allowing you to duplicate the entire contents of the SMS to the clipboard. Tapping on an empty entry box will launch the Paste popup, so you can stick the contents back down in an message of your own. If the entry box already contains text, double tapping will select the closest word, and double tapping an holding will select the closet word and popup the loupe.

Again, we'll cover this more fully in the section for the Notes app.

Messages also now includes line-item deletion and forwarding. Tap the Edit button at the top right, select the messages you want -- as many of them as you want -- and then hit the red Delete button at the bottom, or the blue Forward button beside it. Edit still isn't the most elegant name for the combination of deletion and forwarding, mind you, but the functionality is consistent with the Mass Edit feature introduced for Mail in iPhone 2.0.

iphone_30_icon_landscapeLastly, Apple has also answered the call for pervasive landscape-style keyboards, and Messages is one of the text-entry apps that received it. For those who want a Cadillac-wide typing experience, enjoy!

(Note to Apple: a way to "lock" the iPhone in portrait or landscape mode would be appreciated, especially when typing while reclining and every little angle change sends the UI spinning.)

iphone_30_icon_messagesStill no MMS for AT&T users. That's being released on September 25 (though whether it will require an iPhone 3.1.1 update, or just a new carrier file is unknown).

With iPhone 3.1 you can tap the action button at bottom, left to save them to the camera roll, just like you could previously do with pictures under iPhone 3.0.

Save MMS Video

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

AT&T iPhone MMS Arrives Today -- Here's a Walkthrough!



If MMS has that much effect on your life then you have significantly more problems than AT&T not having MMS.

Yea I wish the iPhone had a "lock in landscape or portait setting" cause when Im laying in the bed I get tired of the phone screen rotating everytime I turn or move.

I have hope that AT&T will pull this off with ease, but a voice keeps telling me not to expect to have data service - or service at all - for the better part of the day.

@"Michelle": Assuming that you made it to about 8th grade and have gone through sex ed I would also assume you know it's impossible for one to do that to oneself. But if my assumption is wrong and you missed sex ed because you were too busy getting busy then allow me to enlighten you with this post. You can't do that to yourself. Although that would be a better alternative to some of the people having kids these days.

I wonder which is really the sadder thing, someone checking every hour to see if MMS is finally working on their phone,
someone making fun of above people by trolling a comments section of an online article about checking every hour to see if MMS is finally working on your phone.
;-) kudos-

@spook: I wasn't intending to troll but I got dragged into it. Besides what else do I have to do at work?

According to AT&T
Late summer = september 25
late morning = 5 pm eastern time? Or may be LATER?????
Thank you AT&T look like you guys have such great communication

I've been using MMS for a couple weeks now via the carrier file update that was posted on many blogs. It's been working great between iphones, but I'm seeing problems sending to friends with "Lesser" phones. A friend on sprint, using a flip phone of some sort, can't see most of the pics I send because they're too big. Even pics take with the iPhone camera. Since there's no way to resize your pictures on the fly (that I am aware of), I have a feeling this is going to become a major issue in the coming days/weeks. I'm not sure what the correct fix is here, but I could possibly see one or more of the following being implemented into the messaging app:

  • it auto sizes the image/video/sound to make it more compatible before sending.
  • it allows for re-size.
  • it looks at media size and warns against sending large items and that they may not arrive.

Ideally, other carriers would fix the problem on their end and allow larger files.
It will be interesting to sit back and watch what happens. Either way, it's nice to have the capability. Just sucks to send a picture and get the message back... "Can't see it!"

If text and mms messages are data and all iphones must have a data plan why is it legal or ethical for them to charge a separate fee for the service?

Will AT&T 5.1 carrier update come via Apple Software Update?
How much video can iPhone 3GS uses send via MMS, you email 60 seconds, so I would imagine much less?

Just sent my first MMS using 3.0.1 and the updated carrier bundle that's been floating around earlier this summer. Didn't want to upgrade to 3.1 and lose the tethering!

Why is everyone so worried about this update. AT&T rarely follows through with their promises so please don't expect today to be any different. They will probably make sure some aspect of mms doesn't work so their fragile network won't fold because of a picture.

j in sofla: SMS messages are data sent over the control channel of the cellular connection. It's not quite the same thing as using your internet connection. It's more like making a phone call, but instead of making a voice connection, you just shove some text in there.
MMS, however, is an SMS and a special link that tells the phone to download the picture over a regular data connection. Isn't that right (someone will probably know)?

I personally believe, that all US Americans should finally have MMS for things like such as maps of the Iraq and South Africa.

Holy sweet lord almighty! I've had the hacked ipcc file for weeks now and finally today, my first MMS picture went through!!!!!!!

And I believe Miss South Carolina is the Miss Teen USA contestant that you are referring to and such as.

MMS should have been launched with the original 2g iPhone 2 years ago. Point blank, period.
Stupid free flip phones with a 1x1 screen have such capability, why shouldn't the iPhone during it's debut in 2007?
I have 3.0 jailbreak.. If I have to give up what I have just to update to MMS.. Believe me there will be no MMS anytime soon on my radar.

@Chris: if you have to continuously log on just to worry about what other people think and badger people on a web site you have significant problems with your life.

Been working solid for about 18 hours now. It's pretty quick too. About 7-10 seconds to receive from another person and for them to receive mine and that was out of network.

10:14 AM EST, no iTunes update yet, no MMS with iPhone 3G S OS 3.1 and AT&T 5.1 Miami, FL.

I just connected my phone to itunes, it started bugging out, disconnecting and reconnecting, syncing and disconnecting, I was getting excited, it finally stopped and still no mms :-/

Miami mike said:
Sep 25th @ 07:20 am
Yea I wish the iPhone had a “lock in landscape or portait setting” cause when Im laying in the bed I get tired of the phone screen rotating everytime I turn or move.
ME 2 mike

Why does everyone get South Carolina and North Carolina backwards? Maps of Argentina would be good on the iPhone.

I am sick of hearing about MMS. I use a thing called e-mail. I am not willing to pay more to send pictures if I can email them for free. I also don't have the attention span of a fly where I need to check my phone every second. I just want tethering so if I need to send a letter via email I can type it up on my computer and then email it using the expensive data plan I am paying for.

just got a text from AT&T saying network failure has caused MMS to be rolled back untill October 9th. More details to follow. kidding...

I won't be able to get it until I reach home tonight since stupid iTunes will want to erase everything off my iPhone at work if I try updating through it.
Finally, chicks will be able to sext me without me going through the travesty that is viewmyessage.


10:14 AM EST, no iTunes update yet, no MMS with iPhone 3G S OS 3.1 and AT&T 5.1 location: Miami, FL.

@Miami Mike @Joseph
Just jailbreak and there's an SBSettings toggle to lock portrait or landscape.
@M. Sanford
How's that whole "soulmate" thing working out for ya?

Everybody send an MMS picture of their junk to AT&T. Either that or a big turd floating in the toilet...
Anybody have AT&T's mobile number?

10:28 AM in Cincinnati, no update. When I clicked on the link above, it directs you to AT&T facebook page. It states the update would come LATE morning PST time. Not EST!

Those iTunes 9.0.1 and utility 2.1 updates are old. We are waiting for "carrier file update" or "at&t update", something like that

Not quite. The iphone config utility is a bussiness organization tool for small bussinesses that provide iphones for their employees, but keep waiting it'll be there sometime in the afternoon if your on the east coast.

this wont hit until this aft for East coast people...10 am PST is 1 in the aft poeple!!!!! thats when it starts to roll out could be evening.

Does anyone have a link to the 5.v carrier file? i can find all kinds of forums talking about it, but I cant find the actual file!

I downloaded the iTunes 9. 0. 1. And the iPhones 2.1 and I have the camera logo to the left of my text screen! But no pic are sending!

I know this is slightly off topic and I apologize for that, but if someone in the NY area (long island preferably) could email me this evening at on if they noticed any problems with the ATT network that would be extremely appreciated. I am considering dumping my Tour to go back to an iPhone and curious to see if ATT updated their network to a point that this load will not effect the network.
Thank you in advance.

I have all those apps up to date, iTunes, Config Utility 2.1, iPhone OS 3.1, Carrier 5.1 but still no MMS.
10:36 AM Miami, FL.

AT&T's plans for rolling out the service on Friday, with deployments scheduled in groups to begin at 10:00 AM Eastern time and new groups being activated on an hourly basis after that in order to slowly ramp demand and gauge service performance.

TSB3, It's already 10:41 Eastern Time, no update, I'm guessing you meant pacific, which would be... 1PM EST?

MMS is included in the AT&T iPhone text packages. Each one counts against your limit... 250, 1500, etc...

Just rolled out in Chicago. Just downloaded the update on Itunes. Sending friend pic msg of my nutts as we speak.

TSB3- how do you have carrier 5.1 and not have mms working I have the same one and I have mms working with no problems at all .

Drbling:"Just got the phone with AT&T rep. I was told that mms will available at 2:30pm eastern time. WTF"
W T F ????? F U AT&T

i just tried to sync my iphone and itunes froze up... A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME. Boston, MA no mms yet

About that locking in landscape or portrait orientation - at least it's available in the Kindle app. Shouldn't be too hard to do for Apple....ya thunk?

They said 10am Pacific Time folks, not Eastern Time. It's been in the news stories for the last couple days. You can hit refresh all you want, but you won't see anything until after 2pm EST.

I have a jailbroken 3g 3.0... When I download the update for mms wil I have to update to firmware 3.1???? I hope not!!!

Late morning will probably be 5pm eastern 2pm pacific (Los Angeles time) 11am Hawaii. Keep in mind Hawaii is in the pacific.

just got off the phone with iphone tech support and they were told the update wont be out till 12 pacific time today

its too bad the world isnt flat, then 10am pacific time would be 10am eastern time. when are they going to come out with an app for THAT

This is fairly amusing. The release says "Late morning, Pacific Time, on Friday" which is still hours away and people are already getting upset because it's not available yet. Patience is a virtue that we, as a society in general, are lacking. It's been this long, relax for a little while longer. AT&T needs more time to provide us with the best possible experience on their network.

It's here in Chicago as of 10:07 am. Sending pics of my dump I just took in the toliet to all my friends. Its' green.

Chicago... How did you know when it was "time"? Did you get a text notification or did you just check for the latest update on iTunes?

Too bad I'm not on Chicago's friends distribution list, I feel like I'm missing out on some serious art photos.

AT&T has said "Late morning Pacific time"
which could mean all the way up till 11:59 AM pacific time, which is 2:59pm eastern.

Denver- well I knew it was time when my stomache starting turning a little. Then I passed some gas... The final straw was the cigarette I smoked and coffee I drank. I was running for the bathroom after that.

I'm from Brooklyn, NY. I download the carrier update yesterday and my mms started working right away. I have a 32gb 3GS iphone. :)

im sitting in traffic on the freeway with my laptop/3g data card on the passenger seat. i hook the iphone up every so often to see if the update has been released, nothing yet. this probably isnt the safest thing to be doing, but god i love technology

And don't forget the expectation that they set to get this out during "late summer" which turned into early autumn. This could turn into early or late afternoon Pacific Time.

Sorry cubanb. I'm aware of how timezones work. Just accidentally hit the 2 instead of 1 on the keyboard.

@j in Sophia - Why can AT&T charge extra on an unlimited data plan for SMS/mms data? Simple...because people will pay it!
I use beejive for SMS and picfree for MMS. It's a bit clunky sometimes, but (for me anyway) the mild inconvenience is more than worth the $120/yr savings.
You can bet that if/when AT&T loses exclusivity that they won't be trying these pricing shenanigans.

What's the deal with billing, are MMS messages going to be considered "2 SMS" messages, or will there be separate allowances for MMS messages and SMS messages? Haven't seen any info on that, unless someone knows of a link they could share. Thanks...
...btw San Francisco 830am PST, nothing. :(

Im paying $30 a month for DATA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When available I will send 1 000 000 MMS's today!!!!!!!!!

There is a built in way to lock the rotation in one lean direction and that is landscape with the home key opposite the direction you will be leaning in. The iPhone does not rotate upside down (ie home button in the upward direction) so if I have the iPhone in landscape with the Home Button on the right, then I could lean to the left (i.e. laying on a recliner or the bed) and it would not auto rotate. Then if I decided to lean to the other side I would have to flip the landscape rotation which is the only disadvantage. However, I like to read my iPhone in a tilted manner while I'm laying down and this is a useful way to do it without it flipping all over the place or jailbreaking to get the auto-rotate inhibitor sbs program.

damn, i'm in the detroit area, still nothing. how does chicago have it, and we don't. so close, yet so far :(

@Nutman thanks for the time update, my brain broke and i am unable to make sense of the strange digits displayed on my clock.

10:34 Central - Tulsa, OK and nothing at all here yet.. I'm not for sure it will work with OS 3.0 though, because I don't have the little camera icon in the SMS app or any kind of "Send as MMS" option in the picture viewer. Maybe it will just require a carrier file and power cycle the phone - not require OS 3.1 or an iTunes update.. wishful thinking?

You people are pathetic! How have you been able to survive this long without MMS?? LMAO!

im already ashamed of myself. this is one of those things that gets me so excited in anticipation, then when it goes live it'll be awesome for an hour. after which it'll be one of those things i use every once in a while and totally take for granted because as previous posters have said, mms is pretty much standard on every phone except iphone.


read somewhere that it would happen "late morning, pacific time." Whatever that means. Hooked up to itunes now. All lastest software installed. no news yet. 8:44 pst

I'm downtown Chicago and nothing yet. I went on iTunes and no updates were available -- is that where I update the file?

i have a jailbroken 3.0.1 3GS will i be able to get the carrier file update that comes out today for MMS on will I have to update to the new 3.1 firmware ??

Sending MMS with iPhone 3.1, Carrier 5.1 file on a non-jailbroken phone in Milwaukee, WI. I was able to send and receive pics and video around 5:30 CST time last night. I did notice that messages would only go through on 3g and not on WiFi.

thought I had the latest itunes, 9.0.1, but didn't. Whenever I click to install, nothing happens is 9.0.1. the patch? 9.0.1. installation over load?
is it considered "late morning, pacific time" yet?
(8:50, norcal, pst)

If you already have the 5.1 carrier update on your phone will iTunes still recognize that there is an update available?

People need to be patient and relax, MMS is a great feature but I think we have taken it too far. It's like getting a new toy, we would play with it for a few hours/days and be hyped all over it. Then you get bored and want the next big thing.... It's a sad and vicious cycle lol

DrzPrince973 -"People need to be patient and relax, MMS is a great feature but I think we have taken it too far. It’s like getting a new toy, we would play with it for a few hours/days and be hyped all over it. Then you get bored and want the next big thing…. It’s a sad and vicious cycle lol"
Says the man who JUST broke his F5 key in hopes to see the update's release!!! HA HA HA...

Troll thanks for the update i was afraid the teleportation ap wouldnt work properly. Man those guys at apple are smart. lol

i have a jailbroken 3.0.1 3GS will i be able to get the carrier file update that comes out today for MMS on will I have to update to the new 3.1 firmware ?? I need to know??

my ny number was ported from another carrier to a different state and state. can that be a reason why i do not have the update?

Does anyone know if I'm going to be able to get it from iTunes on my phone without having to hook it up to my comp?
9:06 in Los Angeles and nothing

I implemented the 5.1 carrier file and I got my MMS working, however it broke myself and my friend who implemented the 5.1's application Push Notifications. Anyone else have this issue?

@LSKS No SHxT. Teleportation Won't Be Available Until The iPhone 4G Comes Out Next Year.. DUH!!!!

I have the same question. I already have the 5.1 carrier file, but would like the official AT&T carrier file. Not sure if it will recognize and update.

As a proud NC kid, I can't stand being affiliated with SC...with lopped off that weak appendage years ago...and look how crazy they've gotten.

You would think that AT&T Wireless would have made this process easier. They could have just rolled it out at midnight so when I woke up this morning I'd already have it like a kid on Christmas Day! Gosh, I hate waiting...

I did an update thru itunes for my iphone here in philly,pa but still not pic mail...anyone help me out?

Still nothing in Wilkes barre , pa!!!! WTF I can't even handle this wait but I heard we are supposed to get a text telling us when we should update

Does anypone know if my phone will be ok when the update comes out. I did the hack about a month ago updating the .ipcc file and have been using MMS for the last month without a problem. Will the new update mess up my phone, or do I need to get rid of the .ipcc file I have been using?

It's a funny thought... Why are we waiting as if MMS is the next big thing only to realize how much you miss a feature that is common on all other phones...

11:26 here in Kansas. Still nothing. How late in the morning are they talking about. can't get to much later.

Joe McG Says:
September 25th, 2009 at 11:14 am
I have the same question. I already have the 5.1 carrier file, but would like the official AT&T carrier file. Not sure if it will recognize and update.
JOE, where did you get the 5.1 carrier file?

I'm not getting my hopes up on this actually going thru today. If AT&T has mms workin by the end if the weekend I would consider it success for them.

@James carpenter--If your waiting for a text message from AT&T then I'd worry. The last time they sent me a text about the iPhone 3.0 update I got it like 4 days after the fact.

i just wanted to be clever and say "its 12:38 in WV and no MMS"
- Now i feel like im part of one of the cool kids YEAYYY!!! ha

@Wgafamms-Funny! So 1991... lol... Reminds of all those people that bought that cheap black lacquer and brass furniture along with the black leatherette couches from RTO.

ATT is probably laughing at all of us freaking out since most of us probably knew that you couldnt initially MMS with iPhone and said who cares... I'll just email pics. They won't roll it out until 11:59 tonight

You guys are going crazy in here!!! If you all want mms this bad AT&T should really be afraid lol those poor towers lol lol lol ......did I hear a overload????

Mine is now working in Charleston, SC. They must have lifted the opt-out code on my account (finally). I had the carrier file already. Sending and receiving like a charm.

Still nothing in MN. I won't be able to check the update again until tonight after I get off work.

FYI.... emailing was around before MMS.
And I don't have a problem emailing pics from my phone, I have a problem with people sending me pics and I have to go to It's also not convenient for others to always have to use your email address, and sometimes email to someone's mms address doesn't go through on their end.

While I am totally excited and can't wait to upload it, I think the buzz about this is entertaining.
Really though - late morning has passed in Western MA and nothing yet...

@everyone with the 5.1 carrier file. Did your Push notifications break when you implemented it?

I really hate the landscape/portrait tilt effect. it needs a 'lock' option to be set at the user's desire. I'm tired of it switching between the two and it always gets stuck at landscape unless I exit the app! so annoying. maybe it shouldn't be automatic and it requires a prompt by the user, like zooming, only a twisting motion on the screen with the finger will cause it to tilt. still waiting for my MMS

They said "late morning Pacific". For those who cannot count, that's three hours behind the east coast. I would not look for an update until after 1pm Eastern. And no, push notifications and visual voicemail work fine with carrier file 5.1.

Have you ever held you pee for 3 hours and as soon as your see the urinal you start wetting your pants.. Thats exactly whats going on here.. and it's perfectly normal.. Trust me i'm a doctor...