Friday, November 12, 2010

Softbank mail for android

This is a topic that just won't seem to go away because so many people are unsuccessful when trying to use their @softbank mail addresses with their android. And, I am of no help because I don't (obviously) use softbank.

I've been discussing this with XDA member gilrad and below is his solution. If this can be refined to figure out issues with battery usage, etc., I'd like to include this in the general information post.

Northeye's blog also seems promising (Northeye is the developer of the MSS Req apk mentioned below). I also recently found mod.Email for Froyo, which is based off the default mail client, supposedly supports emoji, and seems to support softbank mail according to some commenters.
In the market, I searched for Softbank, two of the higher apps on the list is Softbankメール, I think that's the official android app from Softbank. Lower on the list is Softbank MMSReq, by Northeye. After adding in the Softbank MMS APN info (google search can get you that, there's a thread at Modaco iirc that gives it all), I run MMSReq, and manually request messages. After it does its magic I am able to download MMS's from the Softbankメール app. Since Softbank's servers handle the MMS->email conversion, there's really not a whole lot of configuring needed outside of adding the proper APN info.

Though as I mentioned before I have this suspicion that either the Softbank app or the request app eats away at battery life, so I disabled all automatic updating and basically manually check my mail once a week or so while relying on gmail for everything else. It looks like the request app can automatically download messages, though I never tried it.

From what I understand the way Softbank's email system works, 1) emails are sent to the Softbank-side servers, 2) they're converted into short text messages, then 3) they're sent to your phone number as an MMS notification at first, the process of which is automatically routed by their servers. 4) From there the notification is flagged for download (most phones automatically download them without telling you about the notification, but Android phones give you the option to manually choose and download them), at which point the Softbank servers check your phone's UserAgent, and 4) if it matches a whitelist then they will send you the full text.

For the Softbank mail application, its pretty much a modified version of the default Google MMS app. Pretty much by the time you receive the email, it's treated entirely like an MMS, so I would say its apt that the app used is an MMS app. In fact, you can actually receive MMS notifications under the default Google MMS app, but downloading them results in failures, likely because they see a nonstandard useragent. There's also some modified MMS apps available from Modaco which spoof the UserAgent, but I couldn't get them to work on my hardware, Dell Streak (one force closes, the other fails to download).

If I were to guess (though I haven't even read the description of the MMSReq app as its all in Japanese and I already got it to work so I don't really care), the MMSReq app probably checks any non-downloaded MMS notifications, then sends a download request with one of the whitelisted UserAgents. Its possible this could work with other MMS apps, but as of now the only combination I found that works with my hardware is this and the Softbankメール app.


  1. I just got a Desire HD from Softbank, and installed the Softbankメール applet from the Softbank section of the app store. I tested sending to gmail on my PC, which worked fine, and also receiving the reply from gmail, which worked too. So, no problems here. I did go to the pages and change my address to something reasonable.

  2. So after finally running into one of those dreaded "how do I whitelist you" situations, I decided to sit down and do some more messing about with getting MMS to work with Softbank (if my tone didn't give it away above, most of what I didn't know was because I didn't want to bother with softbank mail after discovering how awesome having a unified webmail/cellmail service is through Gmail).

    Turns out, either I was overcomplicating things with MMSrequest, or perhaps Softbank added the Dell Streak to their useragent whitelist (very likely considering its released next month and probably already in focus group testers' hands). I have been perfectly able to send, receive, and download MMSes using only the Softbank mail app, which makes things a whole lot more painless for me.

    So I guess all we need to do now is see if Softbank still has that useragent whitelist. Could somebody with a foreign handset that is not available here (Nexus, Droid) give it a shot?

  3. Mms.apk from this blog (, , in japanese), deals with SoftBank MMS in most elegant way, integrating it with standard MMS/SMS client, plus providing emoji support. It comes in three flavours, Google stock Android (NexusOne, latest supported Froyo 2.2.1), CM6 (CM6.1 RC also available) and HTC Sense variant. Installing it requires rooted device, as it replaces stock Mms.apk.

  4. Techniker.TechnologeNovember 16, 2010 at 8:46 PM

    tokorode, anyone knows how to mopera-mail to be pushed to my android handset? (without re-routing everything via gmail) it seems mopera does not support imap idle...

  5. Hi! How is that piece of hardware? I'm considering getting one of those myself!

  6. Hi, I recently switched over to Softbank after having Docomo for 11 years. I was about ready to get the Galaxy S, but after using one and comparing specs, I saw the DesireHD was a bit better so I switched and got the DesireHD from Softbank. (i had the HT-03a with Docomo, also with CM6) I gotta say, I have never been more impressed with a phone ever. My wife has iphone4 (and now we can be on family plan and pay MUCH less than when i was with Docomo) and the DesireHD blows her iphone out of the water. It's also visibly snappier and video is smoother than on the Galaxy S.

    There are a couple things that are VERY useful to know for DHD owners, btw.
    Turn USB DEBUGGING ON! This 100% eliminates an occasional lag issue it has when the CPU is trying to process something related to "INIT". Which in turn, eats battery.
    Also, turn off the unnecessary auto-sync items. EVERYTHING is turned on by default, and there are 3 weather widgets running syncing every hour. I closed them all but one and sync weather every 3hrs and gmail once an hour. (this doesn't matter since gmail gets pushed to the phone anyway)
    Turn OFF auto-brightness and decrease it to a reasonable level.
    After doing those things, I see 28 hours of battery life every day with medium to heavy use.

  7. I have been using the softbank mail application from the begining. and it works great on my device (Nexus one.)
    It dont even need any configuration. I have deleted all the APN names in my device, and still it was working.

  8. Hello,

    I readed a lot of posts of this blog, it's very useful for all those people like me who have problems with softbank =)

    I just have few questions as I tried to search on google and in many other sites but I can't find the answer so I hope someone will kindly help me in here.

    I know that there are 3 different apns for MMS in softbank: smileworld, sbmmsproxy and mmsopen.

    So...smileworld is for Iphone but what about the other two? are they both safe? and for what kind of cellphones? I guess that if they made 2 there must be a reason, right?

    Before (when I used Eclair...anyway I have an Android Smartphone which is Acer Liquid s100) I used the way "make 2 new apns, the first one as default and the second for mms with sbmmsproxy" but now that I updated to Cyanogen's Froyo I got the "one apn only, all you need is there already" thing that contains mms setting but instead of sbmmsproxy there is mmsopen..and by using it I realized that now I can send/receive messages with attachments bigger than 250kb..thing that before I wasn't able to do. So basically it's great but still I am afraid that I will pay a HUGE bill because they are not the correct settings..and that's why I'm here to ask.

    ....btw I downloaded Softbankメール application after reading about it here and it works well..except the fact that I can't get attachments over 250kb (just like it was with the setting I had before) so I'm just using Northeye's modified mms.apk for cyangen mod and the new settings and it works great! I can get and send big attachments (my meaning of big is from 300kb to 1.5mb) it safe?

    Thank you in advance ^_^

  9. Hey Brian,

    I don't know if you are still interested, but I can confirm that SB still does use the whitelist, at least for me. I could be an edge case, since I am still using a iPhone 3G SIM withmy shiny new Nexus S. I installed Cyanogen mod which has a selectable user-agent option in it's MMS app. when I'm sending android, I don't get MMS, when I'm set to iPhone 3.0, I do. Hope that helps!

  10. Thank you so much for this article ! I spent 2 days to fight with my Galaxy SII without beeing able to get my S!Mail messages. After I red your post, it took like 2min to configurate and that's it. Thank you !