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Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android 415

Posted by timothy
from the computer-says-no dept.
redletterdave (2493036) writes "When my best friend upgraded from an iPhone 4S to a Galaxy S4, I texted her hello. Unfortunately, she didn't get that text, nor any of the five I sent in the following three days. My iPhone didn't realize she was now an Android user and sent all my texts via iMessage. It wasn't until she called me about going to brunch that I realized she wasn't getting my text messages. What I thought was just a minor bug is actually a much larger problem. One that, apparently, Apple has no idea how to fix. Apple said the company is aware of the situation, but it's not sure how to solve it. One Apple support person said: 'This is a problem a lot of people are facing. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it. There are no reliable solutions right now — for some people the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in my boat.'"
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Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:20PM (#47012849)

    to return back to the flock to receive your iMessages again.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:21PM (#47012865)
    Clearly the fix is for the sending party to also switch to android.
  • Auto switches (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MidSpeck (1516577) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:23PM (#47012885)
    My experience is that if an iPhone is unable to send an iMessage (shows as blue), it automatically falls back to text message after 5 minutes (shows as green). After a few of these in a row, it defaults to text message until the iMessage connection can be re-established with the other endpoint. (Of course, this option can be turned off if you prefer to use only iMessages, at which point it's not going to be allowed it to fall back.)
    • Re:Auto switches (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anubis IV (1279820) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @06:13PM (#47013335)

      For 99% of cases, that's exactly what happens. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bug where in some cases that doesn't happen, and iMessage continues to try routing the SMS to the old iDevice, even though it's no longer valid. The bug was actually reported here back in February [slashdot.org] (making this story a dupe).

    • by Culture20 (968837)
      I've seen it sometimes switch back to iMessage randomly as if it were testing (and sometimes it won't failover). Not quite foolproof.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:25PM (#47012907)

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ts5185

    Seems one just needs to deactivate iMessage before getting rid of their device.

    • by djdanlib (732853) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:33PM (#47012975) Homepage

      It would be awesome if cell phone salespeople would be aware of that and help their customers who are switching platforms.

      • Help them switch AWAY FROM Apple?

        That's like expecting help from your priest when you tell him you're going to convert to Islam!

        • I have a number of friends who are cellphone salespeople and they're ALWAYS told to push Android phones (and afaik there are no incentives or commissions to push iPhones). iPhones are expensive to carriers, both in what Apple charges the carrier initially and in the long term hit to the network (iPhone users use more data). That's not to say they aren't happy to sell you an iPhone (especially if you're switching from a cheap dumbphone plan), but they are much, much happier to see you switch away from an iPh
        • No, it's actually nothing like that. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I can only assume you're imagining this happening in an Apple store. But it's not. Because Apple doesn't sell Android devices. It's happening at non-denominational cell phone stores and resellers.

  • FUD. Pure FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:25PM (#47012911)

    Ok, this is stupid.

    I recently switched from iPhone, and had text messages still going to my iPad. A simple google search revealed pages like:
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5450235
    And many other such solutions.

    That requires having or borrowing an iphone or ipad (Basically, go to settings, iMessage, login with you apple id then tell it not to use iMessage for your phone number).

    According to:
    http://www.imore.com/text-issues-switching-iphone-android-heres-fix

    You can call 1-800-MY-APPLE and have them do it.

    • The question is why you can't do this via web login. Or why it doesn't check if user hasn't used an iDevice for long enough.

      • Re:FUD. Pure FUD (Score:5, Informative)

        by gordo3000 (785698) on Friday May 16, 2014 @03:08AM (#47015523)

        it's similar to the far more annoying issue in the google play store where you can't control you region and sometimes gets region locked to a region you are no longer in. So when I bought my phone and went abroad for a trip, the play store bound itself to that country and when I came back refused to unbind, even going as far to wipe the phone, wipe all address and credit card info in google wallet, and reconnect.

        Instead it took a week of back and forth with google help for them to just change a setting in the background that force bound my phone to the country I wanted. Of course, now that I have moved to a different country, I have another host of issues I'll have to go through this again.

        Both systems have idiotic limitations, for no good reason (and no, limiting which store I bind myself to based on copyright restrictions on a limited portion of the store is foolish, that should be at the app level with a quick IP address location check).

        Oddly, this is one of the best parts of the apple store. I can freely rebind myself to any store I want, regardless of my current IP. I just need a method of payment valid for that country and have no balance in my account.

    • by vux984 (928602)

      That requires having or borrowing an iphone or ipad (Basically, go to settings, iMessage, login with you apple id then tell it not to use iMessage for your phone number).

      Ok, and what happens when that doesn't work?

      Because while that solves it for most people, it doesn't solve it for everyone. Believe it or not, there is an actual bug somewhere preventing that from "just working" for everyone.

  • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:28PM (#47012929)

    Not sure if this works but the easy fix seems to be that you change your Apple password. Then the iMessage app can't authenticate and dumps your messages back to SMS.

  • by nazrhyn (906126) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:30PM (#47012951)
    Going to https://supportprofile.apple.c... [apple.com] and making sure my old phone was removed was what eventually fixed this for me. Just putting the SIM back in and turning off iMessage did not fix it.

    It was a while ago, so it's possible this might not be the exact right location; but, I do know that it was "removing registered devices" that I did. This seems right.
  • IIRC (Score:5, Informative)

    by rabtech (223758) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:30PM (#47012953) Homepage

    IIRC this is actually an issue with the sending devices not being aware that the target contact no longer has iMessage enabled.

    It's trickier than it seems because iMessage will route to your Mac, iPad, and iPhone. It doesn't know if you just haven't signed in recently or if you're gone forever. If I read a message on my Mac, it is a successful delivery, even if I tossed my iPhone in a lake and swore off cell phones forever.

    Apple should add a portal to manage this on icloud.com so you can see all your devices and enable/disable them from iMessage. Then the iMessage servers should reply when a device certificate is used that is disabled or deleted, causing the sending device to update its records.

    Remember - Apple acts as a key exchange system but the actual private keys only exist on individual devices; the sending device re-encrypts the message for each recipient.

    • It doesn't know if you just haven't signed in recently or if you're gone forever.

      here you go. send as a text if no imessage connection has been established for a day. re-send as text if message can't be delivered via imessage for a day.

      this still sucks, because there will be a day where you don't get imessages, but at least they'd come eventually and would be fixed thereafter.

      • by praxis (19962)

        That would work if someone has a iPhone and switch to an Android phone without any other devices as a possible iMessage receiver.

        User S, the sender has an iPhone.
        User R, the receiver had an iPhone but now has an Android phone. He also has an iMac.

        S goes into his iMessage on his iPhone and wants to send R a message. The iMessage app goes out to Apple's servers with R's phone number and gets a reply back saying the iMessage path is preferred. The message goes out over iMessage and receipt is acknowledged (by

  • by headbulb (534102) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:32PM (#47012971)

    iMessage was a fix to a price issue, a political issue, and a control issue.

    If cell phone companies weren't charging so much for something that should be free Apple would have had less incentive to come up with a solution that worked around them.

    We should have extended sms/mms to include encryption and for it to be free worldwide. Instead we get a bunch of solutions that don't work with one another.

    • If cell phone companies weren't charging so much for something that should be free Apple would have had less incentive to come up with a solution that worked around them.

      so you think apple is some savior from on high that is working night and day to save you money?

      apple's interest in routing through imessage is tying users to their services and not generic text messages that are portable across any device.

  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by vivaoporto (1064484) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @05:47PM (#47013091)
    Dupe from a couple of months ago: Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In [slashdot.org] Posted by timothy on Saturday March 01, 2014

    Time to copy all high moderated posts from the older article. Actually, there is no need: given that the purpose of posting this article is to bring the echo chamber rambling that this is why apple suck, simply posting "that's why I don't have an iPhone" is enough for +5 insightful.
  • by StripedCow (776465) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @06:01PM (#47013223)

    First they lock you in, then they lock you out...

  • by Chewbacon (797801) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @06:10PM (#47013311)

    My wife broke her iPhone so she switched back to her old non-iPhone until we could afford a new one. I kept seeing similar issues where my iPhone would insist using iMessage for her number and would hang trying to send a text. Solution was to tap and hold on the message, after hitting send, and select send as text message. It would keep sending as a text for a while but I'd have to eventually "remind" it when it would forget.

  • the solution is quite simple. don't fuck with people's text messages, stop rerouting them to imessage or icloud or whatever icrap is the vogue marketing blurb of the moment.
  • This "bug" almost got my buddy arrested. Apple needs to take this problem seriously before the courts do.

  • by Murdoch5 (1563847)
    I've used an iPhone and I couldn't give it up fast enough, it's a horrid platform that appears put together by children, this issue just backs that up.
  • Vendor lock-in (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OneAhead (1495535) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @06:59PM (#47013757)
    Yup, Apple is still the undisputed king of vendor lock-in. More so than Microsoft and Google, I would say (though they're also doing their best).
  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Thursday May 15, 2014 @09:40PM (#47014595) Journal

    This guy here has posted the answer :
    http://apple.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]
    It's been discussed before, it's not the end of the world.

    What _IS_ fucking stupid is Google utterly ruined the SMS application for shitty hangouts _AND_ they still haven't cloned / stolen the functionality of iMessage properly. For goodness sakes, just copy Apple already. The Apple solution is how it should work, attempt IP based message, if it fails revert to SMS //__and make it fucking seamless to the end user__//

    Hangouts is an abortion, honestly as someone who switch to Android 3 years ago now, I'm really getting tired of Google focusing on un-important shit and worrying about uglifying things than improving stuff.

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