What Is the Difference Between SMS and MMS Messaging?


Quick Answer

MMS or Multimedia Messaging Service messages differ from SMS, or Short Message Service, messages in several ways such as MMS messages do not have a size limit, whereas SMS text messages limit message size to 160 characters. MMS and SMS messages also differ in the transmission of each message.

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Full Answer

MMS is a messaging service available only on iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad, while most cellphones and mobile devices including iPhones can receive and send SMS text messages. IPhone users can differentiate between MMS and SMS text messages on their phones by the color the text message displays on their screen. Messages in blue are MMS messages while messages highlighted in green are SMS messages. Another term for MMS messages is iMessages.

Users can send MMS messages over both cellular-data connections and via a Wi-Fi connection. Users that utilize MMS messaging do not require an active cellular account to send an MMS message to other MMS users since they can use a Wi-Fi connection to transmit the message. SMS text message transmission differs from how users send MMS messages since SMS requires a cellular text plan to work. Also, an MMS user can send video and music without file-size limits, whereas SMS messaging carries delivery limits for the file size.

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