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Occasionally, you receive SMS messages that have a company name rather than a reply number. The network provider, for example, might send texts from "T-Mobile" or "Vodafone" whilst banks might appear as "Barclays" or "Halifax" etc.

I recently got one of these messages from a system at work and was wondering if there is any way to add a contact photo to them?

I tried to do this in the normal way, by adding the message sender as a contact. I thought this had been successful, however the phone simply created a new contact with an email address of "Sending Company Name", which isn't associated with the texts sent so the picture I added to the newly created contact doesn't show in the message thread:

Message thread view

Yet if you click the view contact button from the message thread:

Contact view

Then the picture shows - it's really strange! Has anyone been able to get this working in the past? I'm using an HTC Sensation on Android 4.0.

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I tried everything I could think of to solve this problem over a year ago but came up empty handed. –  Richard Borcsik May 8 '12 at 21:15

3 Answers 3

I know the types of messages you are talking about. I do not have HTC Sense, but I have had Touchwiz, LG (don't know what they call their version of Android), AOSP (CyanogenMod) and here is what I found and have been able to add a picture to these contacts this way.

When these message come in, they do in fact have a number. They have a Short Code. I get messages from T-Mobile every month from 456 to tell me they are going to take money from me.

I added a contact, then set the number to be the Short code. Then I edit the contact as I see fit. Change the user profile image, add additional numbers, websites, etc.

T-mobile T-mobile T-mobile

122 & 129 are message that are sent by the T-Mobile Visual Voicemail service

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Another way that works on certain phones (I am not sure about the HTC) is to save the Name with the associated number in your contacts. For example, BANK becomes 2256 and BARCLAYS becomes 22725297 etc. Save this with a picture and you should be fine.

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This is all possible, but if you are open to a replacement dialer app, I recommend Contacts+, it can assign pictures independently of numbers to contacts, and these pictures do show up on incoming calls and texts.

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