When it comes to personalizing mobile phones and devices, rooting (gaining administrator access) definitely opens a lot of options. For advanced users, rooting a phone can help to clear some of the bloatware (unwanted software that takes up valuable space on your device's internal memory) that often comes pre-installed. This is often cited as the main reason for taking the risk involved with gaining root access.
With a rooted phone, the user can add or remove system applications, access special market applications that only work on rooted devices, install custom ROM's with additional features and change hidden settings of the phone. Unfortunately, gaining root access on your mobile phone will usually void any warranty from the manufacturer and it may violate the TOS of your cell phone service provider. In addition, the process of rooting a phone may result in an unusable condition, known as "bricking," if the wrong software is used or if an error occurs during the rooting process. Due to the risks involved, rooting of mobile devices is for advanced users only.
Picture messaging and video messaging aren't the only innovations on your cell phone. Some cell phone service providers offer text-to-speech services that let you send a message to any ordinary telephone number. One company's instructions for this service are quite simple:
1. Type the text message as usual
2. Enter the telephone number with area code
3. Press "send"
The cell phone text message is automatically converted into speech and sent to the number. This service is excellent for messaging people who are visually impaired, temporarily without cell phone service, or who prefer a "land line" phone to cell phones. Depending on your carrier, an additional charge may apply for successful delivery of your voice message. Check your calling plan for cell phone text messaging charges connected to this innovative feature.
The simplest way to keep copies of video messaging you send to your friends is to copy yourself in the e-mail, the same way you would when sending files from your computer. This also works for picture messaging. Remember to download the media to a more permanent storage solution before your cell phone memory card gets too full.
Some wireless providers place a limit on the size of the video messaging file sent. If you send a file too large, you may receive any text message connected with the file, but no video. If you are trying to send a long video messaging file to another network but the video is missing on the receiving end, the culprit could be the large file size.
Cell phone messaging isn't limited to picture messaging or getting cell phone text messages. Did you know you can set up your cell phone to receive instant messages? Many cell phone providers let you configure your phone to get instant messages from Yahoo! Messenger, AOL Instant Messaging or MSN Messenger communities.
Go to your cell phone's messaging menu and activate the Mobile IM feature. There may be a menu called "Get New Mobile", select that and select IM from the options list. Now you will receive text messages from the IM network of your choice. Be sure you understand your cell phone provider's policy on phone text messages and whether IM is charged in the same way as text messages.
A quick search of sites such as CNet.com and ABCnews.com reveals the names of two mobile phone viruses. CommWarrior and Cabir are not spread specifically by video messaging or picture messaging.
These two mobile phone viruses are spread by infected e-mails, and when it comes to picture messaging the standard rule of thumb for e-mail should also apply to mobile picture messages sent to your phone. If you don't recognize the sender of mobile picture messages, it's best not to open the files.
Cell phone viruses are not considered to be a serious threat, and the CommWarrior and Cabir viruses affect phones with the Sybian operating system. If you are concerned about your cell phone and unwanted picture messaging, simply delete the messages and remain secure.
If you are having trouble with the picture messaging features on your cell phone, first turn your phone completely off and back on again. If you can't send a picture message after doing this, check your signal strength. If you are having poor reception you may have to wait to send a picture message until you get into a better reception area.
It's a good idea to double check the picture messaging settings on your phone to make sure they haven't been accidentally changed, then try to send a picture message to yourself. If you still can't use picture messaging, call your customer support number and tell them about the problem, and be sure to mention the make and model of your phone, and when you were last able to send a picture message.
If you have never sent a picture message, chances are you have overlooked a setting in your phone's menu. The customer service rep can tell you how to send phone picture messages by talking you through the phone's settings.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|