Every time I’ve flashed a vanilla Android ROM on my HTC Desire, there hasn’t been a picture for “Me” in the native Messaging app. In other words, the little contact photo box next to my own messages in conversation lists has always been gray. Even though I had set a contact picture in Gmail and that I had added myself to my list of contacts. Nothing happened when I tapped the gray box, either. This is not a big issue, of course, but a picture next to your messages in the Messaging app definitely looks better than just a blank space.
So I decided to figure out a way to solve it, and luckily I succeeded, albeit the issue turned out to be a bit more complex than I initially thought. Here’s how you can get a picture for “Me” in Android’s Messaging app, if it’s grey.
Update: This process is a lot easier on Ice Cream Sandwich, as explained here.
- In case you haven’t added yourself to your Gmail contacts, do that now on your computer from Gmail > Contacts > New contact. Make sure that you enter your mobile number and that you add the photo you want to show up in Android’s Messaging app.
- On your phone, go to Settings > About phone > Status and check if your correct phone number is listed under My phone number. If your number is listed, then your Me picture should now appear in the Messaging app. If it says “Unknown” or if the number is incorrect, then we need to add or correct it. That was the case for me.
- A lot of people on the interwebs have recommended that you take out your SIM-card and put it in an old dumbphone that will let you specify your own number, or that you put the SIM in an iPhone. I thought that sounded like a very roundabout way to solve the problem, so I found a way to change your own number directly from your Android: an app called My Phone Number by Lytsing. Download the app and launch it.
- You will be greeted by the screen below. Tap Setting and enter your phone number exactly like it’s listed in Gmail. Voilà! You should now have a “Me” picture next to all your messages in the native Android Messaging app.
- If your picture still doesn’t show up, make sure your number isn’t listed under several contacts in Gmail, because then Android might not know which contact picture to use.
Update: You might have to set the SIM-card number with an old phone anyway, because the number I specify with the recommended app is apparently forgotten whenever I reboot my HTC Desire. Hopefully it will work better for you, though.