Short and multimedia message service texts are sent through two different protocols, so it makes sense that each would get tied to a different type of application programming interface. Questions regarding which of these two standards is better to use in any specific use case always tend to crop up. In spite of this, the two are more alike than they are different.
What Sets SMS and MMS Apart
Since SMS predates MMS technology by a number of years, it’s a much simpler standard limited to sending out messages consisting of 160 bytes or less. Using specialized Unicode symbols, such as emoji, will cut into this size limitation and force users to send their text out as a series of multiple messages.
Some smartphone handsets will automatically break messages up into chunks of a predetermined size that’s completely transparent to the user, thus making it appear as though they’re capable of sending out much more text than they can. Developers of software APIs have to be certain not to exceed this limitation, or some of the content they pass through a call could get cut off.
API calls that explicitly ask for MMS messaging technology won’t be held to as stringent of a limitation. They can also encode sound clips and digitized motion picture footage in the form of text characters, thus allowing this kind of content to get passed through an API and end up on a subscriber’s phone. MMS messages can theoretically encode nearly any binary file, making for some interesting possibilities.
Benefits of Using MMS Technology
Obviously, those who use an MMS API won’t have to worry about counting every byte they release to the publicly switched telephone network. More importantly, though, they can share photographs and charts with their customers. Small businesses planning to use API calls as part of a marketing campaign will definitely want access to these features. They’re also useful for those sending full-length documents over the PSTN.
Although MMS messages take slightly longer to pass through the network, they can actually be more reliable in certain specific circumstances. The specification for how MMS packets get constructed is quite a bit more flexible than SMS ever was, which means that those who regularly route things through an API won’t run into as many unexpected error messages. Normally, any they do see will be clearly explained and provide actionable information to help correct the problem. Recent network upgrades have also given prospective users a third option.
The Rise of Rich Communications Services
RCS-compliant messaging apps optionally utilize a new protocol that supports service discovery features as well as a phonebook polling subsystem that can help connect marketing APIs with contact lists in ways that were never possible with SMS or MMS technology. Most RCS chats are encrypted on an end-to-end basis, so this protocol is often seen as a far more secure choice as well.
Adoption has been relatively slow thus far, though most handsets currently being sold support the standard. Almost all feature phones will likely support it within the next few years due to software updates.
Advanced messaging and SMS+ technology are alternate implementations of the RCS standard, so any API that can work with it will also interface with these systems. On top of this, RCS-equipped API code should be backward compatible with MMS and SMS text apps.
This enhanced degree of interoperability means that those transitioning to a newer standard shouldn’t end up in a situation where they lose out on the ability to chat with some of their clients. Running multiple APIs alongside one another isn’t difficult either, especially considering that managing text usually doesn’t put any undo stress on the processor or memory resources.
Chances are that most smartphone system software packages will support SMS, MMS and RCS text messages. Engineers may soon have one single API that can process all three depending on the calls it receives, so business owners are always encouraged to keep an eye out for any changes that might be on the horizon.
Singh is an experienced spiritual writer and the resident author at Guruvanee.com. With a deep passion for exploring the mystical aspects of life, Singh delves into various spiritual traditions, philosophies, and practices to inspire readers on their spiritual journeys.