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Apple Says They'll Fix SMS/iMessage Android Purgatory Bug
by Karl Bode 10:32AM Thursday May 22 2014
For about as long as Apple's iMessage has been around, users who left the iPhone and switched to other ecosystems like Android have complained about text messages sent from iPhone friends getting lost in a sort of SMS purgatory. The problem really started gaining attention when Adam Pash blogged about the problem earlier this month, which led to a lawsuit against Apple.

Pash claimed Apple was "apparently clueless as how to fix it," leading to ample Internet speculation it was done intentionally (or a bug ignored intentionally) because it gave new Android users a bad user experience. iMessage of course fuses IM functionality and SMS by routing traditional SMS messages through Apple's servers, allowing iOS users to chat without having to involve carrier SMS/MMS networks.

Whatever the cause, Apple tells Recode that they've got a patch in the works that should cure the problem:
quote:
“We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update,” Apple told Re/code in a statement. “For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare."
The problem being that Apple has supposedly deployed numerous fixes for this problem previously, none of which that have appeared to work. Numerous users say they've called AppleCare to get the problem resolved, to no avail.

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itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA

Android?

Has nothing to do with Android.

If you made the mistake of switching to Windows Phone or Blackberry you would be affected.
If you got a basic non smart phone you would be affected.

And the solution is simple - Call Applecare and get to iCloud support. Tell them you need your # removed from the system. Took me all of 10 minutes when I got my Android device. Now I can text back and forth from the wife.

But solutions don't make good headlines!

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

1 recommendation

Re: Android?

You should not have to call Apple to restore basic texting functionality when you switch to a different OS. It should be done automatically.

Karl Bode
News Guy
join:2000-03-02
kudos:42

Re: Android?

And a lot of people have been complaining that calling AppleCare hasn't helped in the slightest.
Expand your moderator at work

drgonzo
Buy the ticket, take the ride
Premium
join:2002-10-28
Kansas City
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable

Re: Android?

said by Karl Bode:

And a lot of people have been complaining that calling AppleCare hasn't helped in the slightest.

I am one of those people. Was told 'wait a month' or so. Not really the best answer, IMHO.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: Android?

said by drgonzo:

said by Karl Bode:

And a lot of people have been complaining that calling AppleCare hasn't helped in the slightest.

I am one of those people. Was told 'wait a month' or so. Not really the best answer, IMHO.

I was also one of those people. Applecare basically told me im SOL, because they could not disable it on their end, so, I had to borrow an iphone 4s, log in with my apple account, and then shut Imessage off. A whole lot of hassle for something they should be able to shut off on their end very easily.

nycdave
Premium,MVM
join:1999-11-16
Melville, NY
kudos:17

2 recommendations

This has been Apple's MO for as long as they've been around - deflect and deny their software is at fault. iOS and Mac OS are extremely closed OS's....

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
When I switched to the Galaxy S4 it was useless to call. I had to google the way to get the messages to come through.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
quote:
And a lot of people have been complaining that calling AppleCare hasn't helped in the slightest.
Well you do have to call Applecare and tell then you need to talk to iCloud support. Once I did that I was transferred and the guy I spoke with knew all about it and did what he had to and it worked.

Perhaps people were just talking to the regular iPhone tech who may have had no clue.
itguy05

join:2005-06-17
Carlisle, PA
quote:
You should not have to call Apple to restore basic texting functionality when you switch to a different OS. It should be done automatically.
I agree. When you turn iMessage off it should remove you from the system. But for now it doesn't and calling seems to be the way to make it work. No big deal - costs $0 and maybe 10 minutes of your time.

THXULTRA

@38.103.109.x
I actually did call apple and people still had problems texting me. Took my one friends phone a month to work correctly. Even though my number was removed from imessage I still had to tell all my friends to delete my text to them and some had to recreate my contact. Really poor implementation by apple. My advise to people with iphones is to disable imessage.
Neosum
Premium
join:2000-06-03
Oakland, CA
said by itguy05:

And the solution is simple - Call Applecare and get to iCloud support. Tell them you need your # removed from the system. Took me all of 10 minutes when I got my Android device. Now I can text back and forth from the wife.

Or just disable imessage/facetime before wiping the iphone and switching.
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smitmor

join:2004-04-10
Springhill, LA

Didn't help me.

Applecare told me they removed my # from the database and to wait 24 hours for everything to update. Several days later, the problem still existed.
tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL

Why should they have to patch anything?

When there Imessage can't deliver a text message, (like customer offline for a day, week, month), it should send it via regular means..

No I-phone patches.. just some recoding on Apple's servers..
clone

join:2000-12-11
Portage, IN
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US

Re: Why should they have to patch anything?

I've had the problem, too. What is supposed to happen is when someone sends you an iMessage and the iDevice is unreachable it will fail over to SMS. The problem comes from one of two areas:

1. You have another iDevice that you activated messages from that phone number on, such as an iPad. iMessage will deliver the message successfully to the iPad and call it day. The solution is to remove that phone number from your iCloud/iMessage account on your other iDevice.

2. Your iDevice that was previously registered to the phone number in question is still powered on, connected, and activated, albeit possibly with a different phone number/SIM card. Even though the phone number has changed, the iDevice is still active on the server, and it will try to deliver the message to it anyway. This is the issue I had. I swapped my work phone SIM into a Windows Phone for testing and put my personal phone SIM into the iPhone.

When I would send an iMessage to my work phone number from another device, it would say "delivered", even though a completely different phone number was now attached to the device. Luckily, the message wouldn't actually get delivered to the wrong phone, but it gave people sending me iMessages the impression that their messages were being delivered when they, in fact, were not.

If I powered off the iPhone with the new SIM card in it, sending iMessages to the work phone number would stall for a few minutes, then fail over to SMS. Again, even though that device now had a completely different SIM in it, and iMessage was activated on a completely different phone number on that device, it was still somehow tied to the old number.

My solution? I finished the testing on the Windows Phone 8 device really quick and switched the SIMs back. Which sucked, because I really liked the WP8 device.

g22

@73.49.225.x

iphone5 (att) to thunderbolt (verizon)

text messages sent from iphone longer than 160 characters seem to always get cutoff. Guessing the switch from SMS to MMS is bugged

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

Re: iphone5 (att) to thunderbolt (verizon)

for me on my android they tend to come in out of order.

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

What is the problem exactly?

The text here and discussion above are quite helping me to comprehend the exact problem....Edit: Never mind, article explains it.

powerspec88
Premium
join:2007-03-11
Independence, MO
Reviews:
·SureWest Internet

No issues switching here.

I switched to Android back when the Nexus 5 came out. I knew about this bug if you did not disable iMessage before you switched. I disabled iMessage a week before the phone came out so all messages were sent via SMS on the iPhone. Once I moved over, had zero issues.

I do agree there should be a way to disable once you switch and Apple should be able to disable in their systems.. but if you still have your old phone, you should still be able to disable iMessage on the phone to let Apple know to stop using iMessage for the other devices.
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chip89
Premium
join:2012-07-05
Independence, OH

1 edit

Yet

Yet when I got my iphone with Verizon I had a temp number at first. When I ported my number the temp one was gone from iMessage.

why60loss

join:2012-09-20

Can't every one just use hangouts or something

iMessage needs to just go away already. Something that only works well on iphones that is used in such a way needs to die when there are other ways of doing the same thing that work better on everything.
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY
Reviews:
·TowerStream

Re: Can't every one just use hangouts or something

Because people like me (ya know, the customer?) like to not get raped on per text message fees. I like that iMessage can send SMS and data messages so while I'm on wifi i can send photos and messages to my family which has ipad and iphones. Why would I need some other Google spy software to do for me what iOS does baked in?
halfelite

join:2007-09-11

Re: Can't every one just use hangouts or something

android has hangouts baked in. So why is hangouts google spy software and imessage is not? Google gave all phones a solution. Apple kept there solution to them self.

As for calling apple care I had friends try that solution and it never worked. The only option was have everyone with an Iphone delete there contact then have the android user send an SMS and have them add it from there.
Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

just remember your iOS has Apple spy software baked in just as much as any android does Google spying.
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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1

I use carrier SMS/MMS all the time

You can't use iMessage to message a basic phone. I don't mind using carrier SMS/MMS at all. It's unlimited on my plan.
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amarryat
Verizon FiOS

join:2005-05-02
Marshfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

Re: I use carrier SMS/MMS all the time

said by IowaCowboy:

You can't use iMessage to message a basic phone. I don't mind using carrier SMS/MMS at all. It's unlimited on my plan.

You can't use iMessage to message anything besides an Apple product.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Easy to fix

Disable iMessage. I had to do that after a bunch of my texts ended up on my iPhone when my SIM was in my Android phone. It was a bit different though, as my iPhone was still active, it just didn't have a SIM in it, so it was getting the messages over Wifi...

monchis
Premium
join:2002-12-09
Los Angeles, CA
kudos:1

Google should sue...

because I can see people being like:

"I should've never switched from Iphone, droid sucks I can't even get text messages"

Yet it's not even Google's fault.
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