Mobile Video

Video Messaging Fail

Question: What's the best way to share a video message between an Android, an iPhone and a Windows Phone?

Over the weekend, we received a video message from my two-year-old niece, and wanted to reply to and share that message among the family. A simple enough ambition, you might think.

So far as I can tell, however, there is no video messaging service or app that works in this scenario. What the industry offers instead is a mixture of fragmented, proprietary solutions and halfway-house hack-arounds.

iPhone users are OK because they, at least, can send videos via iMessage to other iOS users. There are a lot of iPhones, and this is a classic example of the ecosystem effect at play. But it's not much use if you want to communicate with people on Android, Windows or BlackBerry devices.

So, short of the entire world converting to iPhone, what are the options?

The messaging app Whatsapp is, in theory, a prime contender. It is supported on the major device OSes and is a cross-platform smartphone messaging service. Importantly, it allows you to send video messages. Although with file sizes limited to 12MB, this means just four seconds of video on my Samsung Android device ... hardly enough time to wish someone "Happy Birthday." Even then, it only works between users that have Whatsapp installed.

After that, the options get very sparse indeed....

You could email the video as an attachment, but this becomes more like office work than a spontaneous moment of communication. Or you could upload the video to YouTube, Facebook or Dropbox, and send a Web link to the recipients. Again, this works, but it breaks the experience and is more for the "determined hobbyist" than the ordinary user.

The telco-defined Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) is not much better. Yes, it works across all the device platforms, but not very well and not in a way that will build mass-market participation.

Video messaging shouldn't be this difficult. We have the devices and networks to make it happen, but nobody to pull it all together. For whatever reason, neither telecom service providers nor the myriad of "over-the-top" application providers has been able to create a coherent, interoperable video messaging service for the mass-market.

It can't be that hard, can it?

— Gabriel Brown, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading

Page 1 / 2   >   >>
J_Wigginton 12/5/2012 | 5:20:16 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

There is actually another prime contender for a “coherent, interoperable video messaging service for the mass market”: Rich Communication Suite (RCS). Backed by the GSMA, this network operator-provided service supports video chat, one-to-one messaging, and group chat, plus real-time exchange of video and image files—and it works on any data network and on any type of smartphone or feature phone. As a result, it can provide the level of ubiquity that will lead to mass-market adoption, unlike WhatsApp and similar services. Leading device manufacturers have committed to embedding RCS clients on devices starting this year, but downloadable clients are available in the meantime. Major operators have rolled out RCS in Europe already, and numerous trials are underway in North America. 


Interop Technologies lets operators evaluate RCS through a no-cost 30-day Load-N-Go program, where they can load RCS on their devices and experiment with the service internally.     

mrmillergd 12/5/2012 | 5:20:16 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

Why so dismissive?  I have used it to send/receive videos rather quickly?  How is that experience different from iMessage?

Kishore Karnam 12/5/2012 | 5:20:13 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

What's the problem with MMS? Could you please elaborate on your experience with MMS? 

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:20:09 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

kkarnam -- see my other reply. Also, my phone (Galaxy S3) won't actually send MMS messages, so far as I can work out. It can receive them, which is nice.

Also, the overall offer could do with a refresh. I think they cost me a lot of money... but I don't really know. MMS doesn't seem to be bundled into a typical price plan here in UK. I've made a note to find out.


Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:20:09 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

@mrmillergd MMS is in fact the way to send messages between these platforms. But the its unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. One is that it makes the videos really, really small. Compression is good, but MMS takes it too far.


Kishore Karnam 12/5/2012 | 5:19:38 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail


As long as the handset coonfigurations are set properly, and of course the service provider's MMSC doesn't have any issues. MMS should work well. When you try to send an MMS message, do you know for sure that it faisl in your handset? It is possible that the receiver is not set up to receive it or there may be interop issues between the sender and receiver's service providers for MMS.

Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:19:36 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

MMS is set-up and works. I can send and receive pictures, contact cards, etc.

But I can't send video messages. Apparently, my phone creates video in the wrong format, or something. Maybe I have a wrong setting. I keep meanning to figure it out, but that in itself is telling.

Kishore Karnam 12/5/2012 | 5:19:33 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

It may be an issue with the MMSC that the operator is using. The MMSC should support videos and perform the required format conversions as well to deliver based on the receiver handset properties. For example, Our MMSC (TeleDNA) supports videos via MMSC with appropriate format conversions from Galaxy S3 - working live in India.


Gabriel Brown 12/5/2012 | 5:19:33 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

:$ -- darn, beaten by the MMS settings.

I shall have a poke around and see what can be done. If I'm succesful, everyone will call me the man-who-can-configure-MMS-settings. It'll be like a super-power!

But, didn't you get the memo? Since iPhone we're not supposed to need to mess about with settings.  If anything, its embarrassing for Samsung & Vodafone that this doesn't work.


czarekw 12/5/2012 | 5:19:33 PM
re: Video Messaging Fail

I think this is so embarrassing when somebody who title itself "Senior Analyst , have so sophisticated device like SIII anis banishing MME but does not have a clue to configure it nor how it suppose to work.

C'mon man stop writing and start learning!!!




Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Sign In