iMessage iPhone

Of late, an iMessage bug has been brought to light that prevents iPhone users who’ve switched to Android or other platforms from receiving text messages from other iPhone users.

The issue is because iMessage, Apple’s free messaging service, “hijacks” your number, so that iPhone-to-iPhone messages go over iMessage rather than SMS. This is great while you’re using the iPhone as iMessage is free and much better than SMS, but it is very difficult to get iMessage to forget your number when you switch, which means texts from your iPhone friends still come as iMessages and not SMSes.

Hillel Cooperman, a designer who faced the same issue after switching from iPhone to Android, mailed Tim Cook about the problem, and got “executive” support for resolving it. But he describes on his blog, that this “executive” support didn’t give a satisfactory solution:

But the single most awful part of my Android jaunt has nothing to do with anyone at Google. It’s all Apple. Right after I began to write this post, I started seeing reports in the media of widespread problems with former iPhone users receiving their texts from iOS users. I ran into that very same issue. It took an e-mail to Tim Cook to get me into Apple “executive” support. They were more helpful than regular support and very nice, but when all their recommendations failed to solve the problem they told me that my friends who couldn’t text me would have to call them and install debugging software on their phones for Apple to do anything to fix the problem, and short of that Apple could do nothing. This was a terminally unsatisfactory answer in my opinion. It’s annoying enough to my friends and co-workers that it appears that I’m ignoring their texts. I can’t conscientiously ask them to become unpaid testers for Apple to solve the problem. The Apple support person I spoke to didn’t understand my objection and that’s when our conversations ended.

My recommendation is this. Every month, one twelfth of Apple’s employees should be required to switch to Android for the month. I promise that before the second month is out this problem would be fixed for all of us.

Apple has said that this was originally a server side issue, but when Apple deployed a fix, it actually made things worse, and will now require an iOS software upgrade. It says customers facing this issue can contact Apple Care, but from this account, it seems clear that they don’t have a straight forward solution.

Apple has been sued for this issue, as it makes it very difficult for users to switch from iOS to rival platforms. Let us know if you’ve faced a similar issue in the comments below.

[via Business Insider]