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Text messages arriving as file attachments

I’m helping setup Scoutbook for our Pack. I am using myself to test out text messages. I have an iPhone. Sending messages to myself appear as files as attachments. Inside the attachment is the message. This is very strange and I would expect my pack families to be uncomfortable opening a file sent via text. Is this expected?

Here is a screenshot as they appear for me:

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I believe this is a bug with how the messages are being sent.

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Type a Subject in while Send Email is selected.
  2. Select Send Text
  3. Add anything to the “Message” field.
  4. Send

You’ll find the text message you receive does have content in the text message. It will also have the attachment, but the message will show as expected.

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What provider do you use for your cell service?

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I know more about email transport and email clients than I do about text message transport and client software. Is Scoutbook sending text messages via email to a email/text message gateway?

A quick search of the internet and standards found:

  1. Some mobile carriers have switched to transporting text messages as HTML attachments. (I believe HTML5 is now using UTF-8 characters. I suspect they may be converting SMS to MMS to do this.)

  2. Internationalization of email and text messages (using UTF-8 instead of ASCII character sets) may be a factor. When internationalized email was introduced the conventional email transport system and/or client software was modified to include the internationalized email message as an attachment. Something similar may be happening with text messaging.

  3. Sending text messages as MMS attachments allows longer messages to be sent. Sending text messages as HTML allows character formatting and perhaps other HTML features to be added.

Solutions:
a. Run the latest version of your cell phone software and keep it up to date.
b. My email client software allows me to specify that email from a certain email address be delivered only as text. Does your cell phone have a similar feature?
c. Can we determine if the same behavior is happening on different types of mobile devices? Different carriers?

If Scoutbook messaging is now internationalized I do not think it should be set to only send conventional text messages.

Of course, I could be completely wrong since I am not a text message technical expert. But the above are my guesses.

Gook luck with solving this one.

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I am having the same issues with tMobile and an iPhone.

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I just ran a test text to myself and it was received on my Verizon galaxy via the Samsung message app as a regular text with no attachment. I am suspecting like some email apps the header info is being stripped out as an attached file.

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This is regarding text messages, not email.

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@RyanCromwell - yes and it was a text without an attached file.

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@RyanCromwell the texts are sent via SMS Email - what cell service do you have?

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Which is exactly why I stated that it may well be the header that is being stripped out similar to receiving a mail.dat file attached to an email.

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Just tried it on a Verizon iPhone in metro Detroit. It came through as a normal text from Scoutbook.DoNotReply@scouting.org.

Two unexpected things happened, though… First, I had to re-configure my account to allow text messages, which I had done in the past, but apparently the setting was reset at some point. Second, I received the identical message [i]as an email[/] from Scoutbook.DoNotReply@scouting.org

@SteveCagigas - could you if you don’t mind try that test with bcc unchecked in the text option.

OK. Tried that and it came through as an SMS with no matching email.

So the process appears to be worked as it always has for me or at least so in the past 4 or so years.

My wife and I are both T-Mobile iPhone users. We get the exact same attachment when attempting to use the text feature. It comes in with all of the information sent in the text from Scoutbook but very small and hard to read. For sure his reason I have not pushed texts out to the Pack as I’m having a hard enough time getting everyone used to using a new website.

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