Group messaging

Group messaging in Android (and iOS) works by using mms messages. Each group message contains the list of receipients stored in the receipients field according to the mms message format.

Officially, group messaging in Android requires Jelly Bean 4.2.x or higher. However, some phone manufacturers implemented group messaging in the ROMs of older versions.

If your phone has Jelly Bean 4.2.x or higher, group messaging should be available and can be used in 8sms.

If your phone has Jelly Bean 4.1.x, then group messaging might be available. You'd just have to try your luck and see.

In either case, some configuration is necessary to enable group messaging.

Phone Number

Firstly, your phone number must be stored in the phone. This is not always the case so you need to check.

Visit Android Settings » About phone » Status (or something similar) and look for the Phone number field. If this field says Unknown then your phone number is not stored in your phone and you'll have to do something about it. If this field contains a number, please make sure it is correct.

Entering or changing the phone number

Normally, the number in the Phone number field is stored in the SIM card (for GSM phones). Unfortunately, there is no standardised way to use Android to change or update it.

Some Android phones allow you to change the number. Most do not. It depends on the phone manufacturer.

Please try searching the Internet for "samsung android change msisdn" or something similar and see if it is possible with your phone. Replace "samsung" with the name of your phone manufacturer. "msisdn" is the technical name for the phone number value in a SIM card (there may be another name for CDMA phones).

Good luck.

Using an iPhone to change the phone number

Another way to change the phone number would be to take the SIM card out of your phone and put it in an iPhone. The iPhone software allows you to change the phone number stored in the SIM card.

8sms phone number setting (override)

Finally, there is a third method you could try. Visit 8sms Settings » Extra settings » Phone number and enter your number there. This is a settings override and 8sms will use this value as your phone number.

Please note this method may or may not work. It depends on your phone.

Enable group messaging

After the phone number is stored in the phone, it should be possible to configure group messaging to be enabled.

Visit 8sms Settings » Multimedia (MMS) Messages and look for the Group messaging checkbox and ensure it is ticked.

(If this checkbox is missing, please contact us for further assistance.)

Receiving group messages

Group messages should now be working on your phone, but there are some things to be aware of.

Older ROMs

If your phone has Android 4.1.x, please make sure auto retrieval is disabled on the stock messaging app that came with your device and you only download mms messages using 8sms.

Auto retrieval disabled

If your mms messages are not configured to be auto-retrieved, then receiving mms messages happens in two stages.

In the first stage, your phone will only receive an 'indication' message indicating that an mms message is available for download. The 'indication' message is an individual non-group message. It is not a group message because it does not contain a list of receipients.

If you press the Download button of the 'indication' message, this triggers the second stage. In the second stage, the message contents are actually downloaded from the mms gateway. However, the message contents are downloaded as a NEW message, and the old 'indication' message is then deleted.

If the downloaded message contents contains a list of receipients and there is more than one receipient, then the message is saved to a group thread.

To summarise, a group message is initially received as an non-group ('indication') message which is replaced by a group message upon downloading.

Auto retrieval enabled

If your mms messages are configured to be auto-retrieved, then the first and second stages happen together and you will rarely see the initial non-group 'indication' message.

Verifying group messages

To troubleshoot group messaging issues, it is useful to be able to check whether a message is actually a group message with multiple receipients or whether it has been sent to only a single recipient.

This can be done in 8sms as follows.

View the conversation containing a message. Press on it (or long press on it and then choose View details) and an information dialog will appear.

If the message is an mms message and there is more than one receipient, then it is a group message. Otherwise, it is not a group message.

Stand-alone mode

If you have enabled group messaging but it is still not working ie. group messages are being saved as non-group messages, then you could try disabling the stock messaging app that came with your device and use 8sms in Stand-alone mode.

(This would rule out the stock messaging app doing something funny.)

If this still does not work, please contact us for further assistance.