Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP

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Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Robert Nye 6/6/12 3:57 PM
Hi,

Android needs Group MMS support added to AOSP very badly. IPhone, Blackberry, and Windows Phone all support this functionality natively, and when Android users encounters these messages it is handled very poorly.

Currently, when a Group MMS is received, it shows up in an individual contact's thread and not in a group thread. If the user replies to the message, a single SMS is sent only to the specific contact that the MMS came from. You can access the info of the message and see that it was sent to mutliple numbers, yet Android does not currently sort it into a group thread. Also, when sending a message to multiple contacts, multiple SMS messages are sent out, one to each contact, instead of one group MMS.

The result from poorly handled group MMS is a jumble of multiple threads, and no clear way of communication. This is frustrating for many users, especially when group MMS is relied upon as a way to communicate. I believe this can and needs to be solved and integrated into AOSP. OEM's such as Motorola add this functionality to their custom versions of Android, so it is possible. Verizon Messages is the only 3rd party app that currently handles Group MMS reliably, but it does not work on all handsets and ROMS, and has a terrible UI.

So, what we need is Group MMS to be correctly sorted into threads, and a Reply to All setting. I suggest adding a setting in the stock messaging application that the user can check to "Reply to All" with a group MMS, which means all messages sent to multiple users will be sent out as Group MMS and all incoming Group MMS will be kept in the same thread. This way the user can turn on and off the functionality based on their needs or capabilities.

There are a great number of Android users, mostly Nexus and AOSP ROM users, that have been looking for a solution for this for a while. I created an issue over at code.google.com (here) which got an amazing amount of traction but hasn't received any official response. Thanks to Jean-Baptiste Queru for pointing me here, and I hope this can be solved ASAP!

Thanks,
Robert

Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Jean-Baptiste Queru 6/7/12 7:46 AM
We've had good success merging MMS contributions recently, which tells
me that the code structure hasn't changed significantly between the
AOSP master and Google's internal tree.

Based on that, it's reasonable to start working on MMS improvements in
the current AOSP code. That way, after the next Android version gets
released in AOSP, you'll have a good head start, and you'll be able to
quickly rebase your work there, and get it reviewed while the gap
between AOSP and Google's internal tree is minimal.

JBQ
--
Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru
Software Engineer, Android Open-Source Project, Google.

Questions sent directly to me that have no reason for being private
will likely get ignored or forwarded to a public forum with no further
warning.
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Sean Douglass 6/27/12 2:25 PM
Hi Jean-Baptiste,

Thanks again for posting an update. Many of the people in the code.google.com haven't posted anything in here (presumably because they haven't read any of the replies). 

I downloaded the SDK for 4.1 that was released today and noticed that the stock messaging app has had 0 changes made to it to resolve this issue. I'm hoping that Google has pushed this change further up the tree and that it's getting more attention and that we'll receive an update in a future patch of 4.1 or get a messenger app update independent of carriers (please somehow by pass VZW -- this is an issue that needs an immediate update). 

Copious amounts of my friends have recently discovered the "wonders of group MMS" and I have had to ask people to remove me from the texts (which, of course, means that if ONE person responds to that messaging tree without removing me manually I receive hundreds of texts again -- all from different people in a messed up fashion).  I would love to participate in these social group texts, but because of the lack of group MMS support, I cannot. It's not only annoying, but incredibly disheartening to be left out of the fun.

I hope that the message has been bumped up the chain in the last 20 days! 
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Jean-Baptiste Queru 6/27/12 2:32 PM
I haven't seen any AOSP contribution in that area, neither from Robert
nor from anyone else. so I'm guessing there's been on progress on that
front, and therefore there's no discussion to be had here.

JBQ
Technical Lead, Android Open Source Project, Google.
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Robert Nye 6/27/12 4:08 PM
Sean and Jean-Baptiste, 

My main goal in creating this post was that a Contributor, either on Google's side or a dev who knows the workings of a messaging application, would be able to get the ball rolling. My knowledge on the subject is limited, but I am working on finding a solution. Ideally, if we could get Google's MMS Engineer to take a look at this, things would be much easier.

Robert
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Jean-Baptiste Queru 6/28/12 9:41 AM
All right, I think there was some misunderstanding here. This mailing
list is meant to discuss specific code contributions coming from
outside Google for inclusion into Android. Without intending to
contribute, we're off-topic here, and since we try to keep this list
very sharply on-topic this thread is now closed.

Thanks,
JBQ
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Tanner Robinson 7/9/12 8:26 AM
Is there a better forum or group to discuss this issue?
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Jean-Baptiste Queru 7/9/12 9:00 AM
android-discuss

JBQ
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Wheeler Law 7/31/12 4:56 PM
For those coming here for the discussion thread, please go here: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!topic/android-discuss/gedaQMxuZo0

I guess the better question to ask is there a better way to get at least some progress on this issue?
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Vivek Vasani 9/4/12 12:48 AM
Jean-Baptiste,

I am currently working on adding this functionality to AOSP but I am having trouble navigating the framework. So far I have it so that there is a setting to enable/disable group messaging and the compose message activity changes the protocol from SMS to MMS when more than 1 recipient is in the TO field. 

The final task I have to make is in receiving the MMS(PDU) and calling the getOrCreateThreadId function with multiple addresses as opposed to the single FROM address of the sender when the MMS arrives. Can you point me to the appropriate class that handles the incoming MMS and also calls for the MMS/PDU be stored in the DB with getOrCreateThreadId()?

- Vivek Vasani
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Jean-Baptiste Queru 9/4/12 7:33 AM
I don't know anything about that code, sorry.

JBQ
> --
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Vivek Vasani 9/9/12 5:49 PM
I have figured it out and tested it on my Galaxy Nexus/toro.

Framework and Mms.apk now:

- Thread incoming MMS with all recipients
- Send Group MMS when the conversation contains more than 1 recipient
- MMS messages will shoe the sender's name/number just above the body of the message to help distinguish who is saying what in group conversations.

The first two features are toggled by a checkbox in the Messaging app Settings.

I am now in the process of cleaning up the code and submitting it via Gerrit.
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP William Moore 9/12/12 12:57 PM
On Sunday, September 9, 2012 7:49:46 PM UTC-5, Vivek Vasani wrote:
I have figured it out and tested it on my Galaxy Nexus/toro.

Framework and Mms.apk now:

- Thread incoming MMS with all recipients
- Send Group MMS when the conversation contains more than 1 recipient
- MMS messages will shoe the sender's name/number just above the body of the message to help distinguish who is saying what in group conversations.

The first two features are toggled by a checkbox in the Messaging app Settings.

I am now in the process of cleaning up the code and submitting it via Gerrit.

What is the status on the submission of this code?  I would really like to see this in AOSP or at least in CyanogenMod.  Can you provide a link to the request in gerrit?

William
Re: Adding Group MMS functionality to AOSP Jean-Baptiste Queru 9/13/12 8:36 AM
Contribute to master, please.

JBQ

On Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Vivek Vasani <vivek...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Because I'm running linux from my mac with parallels, i seem to be running
> into a lot of issues and wait times for operations to complete. I am about
> to wipe my entire WORKING_DIRECTORY and start from scratch.
>
> JBQ, which branch would be the best to make changes to? I need to modify:
>     frameworks/base
>     packages/apps/Mms
>     packages/providers/TelephonyProvider
>
> William, I built a CM10 ROM with my mods and details can be found here:
> AndroidCentral | Group Text Messaging for JB - ACHIEVED!