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Android Communications Apple

Apple Releases iMessage Deregistration Utility 136

tlhIngan writes When moving from an iPhone to something else, if you were an avid user of iMessage, you may find your messages missing, especially from iOS-using friends. Indeed, it has been such a problem that there are even lawsuits about it. While Apple has maintained that users can always switch off iMessage, that only works if you still have your iOS device. Unless one also has other iOS devices or a Mac, they may not even realize their friends have been sending messages that are queued up on Apple's services via iMessage. Well, that problem has been resolved with Apple creating a deregistration utility to remove your phone number from the iMessage servers so friends will no longer send you texts via iMessage that you can no longer receive. It's a two-step process involving proof of number ownership (via regular SMS) before deregistration takes place.
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Apple Releases iMessage Deregistration Utility

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  • Call me when they allow cross-system forwarding like another phone number or Hangouts.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Apple sent you a text via iMessage but you probably did not receive it.
    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      iMessage doesn't have to use PSTN. It works fine for people who don't have a number at all so it can't forward to a number.

  • While I'm still on iOS myself, this was a long overdue issue. It's incredibly frustrating to have to switch on/off imessage to send messages to people who have moved over to android. iMessage was/is a great idea, but it took a bit too long for this bug fix to be resolved.
    • Welcome to apple, commonsense fix's ot bugs take months if not years before they fix it, Example the flashback virus, Windows had update within a day of going public, Apple took 2 months to release a patch for OS X.
    • While I'm still on iOS myself, this was a long overdue issue. It's incredibly frustrating to have to switch on/off imessage to send messages to people who have moved over to android. iMessage was/is a great idea, but it took a bit too long for this bug fix to be resolved.

      I send SMS messages to Android users all the time from iMessage. What are you talking about? Are you talking about only from OS X, or iOS, too?

      • The issue is when it sends a message to a person who was formerly iOS, but has since moved to android. It default to attempt to iMessage, however it doesn't truly fault out so that it then sends a text message. They just sit out on the apple iMessage servers. The only real work around was to constantly turn iMessage off, send message, turn iMessage back on. Just a hassle.
        • The issue is when it sends a message to a person who was formerly iOS, but has since moved to android.

          Yeah, I figured out that was the real issue later. You're right, that would be a hassle. Good that Apple (finally) fixed it, though I think all the hater bullshit is entirely unwarranted. It was just a thing that didn't come up in design meetings until after the "real world" started providing more use-case data.

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      It isn't really a bug. It is a correction for users not thinking, not reading and not paying attention. The system was doing what they told it to do.

  • by sarguin ( 702714 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @04:36PM (#48353667)
    ... to your grandma that if she wants to receive text message on their new Android/Nokia/... phone, she needs to turn off iMessage in their iPhone BEFORE activating her new mobile. Or if she forgot to do it, she just have to access an obscure Apple web page to do it. Thanks Apple for SMS service hijacking!
    • by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @06:11PM (#48354571)

      Thanks Apple for SMS service hijacking!

      I think Occam's razor applies here. You can either read it as "EVIL APPLE, take over SMS to screw people OVER!!!!!" or you can read it as "Apple tried to make imessage a seamless extension on SMS, and got them a little too intermixed". I kind of see it more as the latter. Witness this with the issue with SMS/google account intermixing in Google Hangouts.

      • Or you could say, "Apple has a grossly oversized ego and thinks the world centers around them."

  • The real issue is that you can't opt out of automatically having your phone number become and account/id in iMessage.

    I want to use iMessage on my iPhone, but only with regular iCloud accounts, not with the phone number being used to create an account.

    Unfortunately, the iOS team doesn't give the user that option.

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can, just go into the imessage settings. In fact you are specifically asked if you want to add your phone number to imessage when you set up your phone.

      • by Macrat ( 638047 )

        You can, just go into the imessage settings. In fact you are specifically asked if you want to add your phone number to imessage when you set up your phone.

        Incorrect.

        Your phone number is used to create an ID immediately when you turn on iMessage. You have no choice in the matter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rosyna ( 80334 )

      The real issue is that you can't opt out of automatically having your phone number become and account/id in iMessage.

      I want to use iMessage on my iPhone, but only with regular iCloud accounts, not with the phone number being used to create an account.

      Unfortunately, the iOS team doesn't give the user that option.

      The option is given when you set up a device for iMessage. It explicitly asks how you want to be contacted. By number, by email(s)/AppleIDs, or all of the above

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Plus you can always change it under "Send & Receive" in Message's settings is the Preferences app.

        • by Macrat ( 638047 )

          Plus you can always change it under "Send & Receive" in Message's settings is the Preferences app.

          Incorrect.

          You can change OTHER ids but the phone number id is greyed out and you can't deselect it.

      • by Macrat ( 638047 )

        The option is given when you set up a device for iMessage. It explicitly asks how you want to be contacted. By number, by email(s)/AppleIDs, or all of the above

        It does not. It only asks if you want to use OTHER ids that you have set up. Your phone number becoming an id isn't optional.

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      What does that even mean? What function does that setup serve? I can't even see the use case here. The phone number being associated allows the sender to fallback to SMS if they are trying to message you and they can't get data. It is a feature.

      Yes. Apple doesn't allow all possible combinations that are conceivable.

  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Monday November 10, 2014 @04:54PM (#48353805)

    I actually like the idea behind iMessage: If you have internet access, sending a message via internet is potentially much cheaper than via SMS (unless you have an unlimited SMS plan). Even Apple's implementation of iMessage isn't too bad.

    The problem is that it's lock-in to Apple devices, of course. If Apple could get their head out of the sand and create a unified protocol with Google and whoever is left in the smartphone OS field (BlackBerry?, Mozilla?), it would be fantastic. Especially if the protocol was expanded a bit. Imagine being able to share files like via dropbox, but seemlessly through an SMS app?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      and you just invented WhatsApp!

      • And it's not the default configuration for all devices!

        If we could force users to use a single program instead of the default ones, Internet Explorer would have died a decade ago.

        • by jbolden ( 176878 )

          It did start to happen. Firefox gained share. Internet Explorer's share has been going up as it got better. But certainly there was a point during the end of the IE6 / IE7 era when share was dropping rapidly and people did switch.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Except WhatsApp sucks rocks

    • If Apple could get their head out of the sand and create a unified protocol with Google and whoever is left in the smartphone OS field (BlackBerry?, Mozilla?), it would be fantastic.

      I don't know about Blackberry or Mozilla, but Google supports XMPP messaging with at least several different messaging apps (and Linux/OSX/Windows programs). But even Google has some features that only work with its messaging app.

      • Uh, do you not read slashdot?

        http://tech.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

        • So I guess my XMPP connection from my desktop computer is just a figment of my imagination?

          I know that Chat/Hangouts isn't really XMPP anymore, but it does still support XMPP connections at least for regular messages.
      • there's text secure, can use their service -over 3G/Wifi -, fall back to encrypted SMS or simple non encrypted SMS. Or YOU can choose if there are mutilple choices. I read somewhere that there's an IOS version in the works.
    • Apple Lock-In ... but I repeat myself.

      My Choice is to go to the device agnostic Google, using Google Voice and Hangouts to do everything (and more) than any iDevice/iMessage can do. SMS from any computer with a browser. Apps for both iOS and Android, PC and Mac.

      • What lock-in? How exactly are you "locked in"? If you don't want it you can just not use it anymore or only use it when it's appropriate. Nothing stops somebody who is currently using iMessage from stopping using it and switching to email, Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, etc ... This idea that vendor-specific somehow means "locked in" is getting pretty ridiculous, it's nothing of the sort.
      • Google Voice is US only, and Google Hangouts is every bit as proprietary as iMessage.

        • Can I use iMessage if I don't have anything Apple? That is proprietary.

          Hangouts is available via web service, not proprietary. Closed network, possibly (except SMS works too, regardless of having GV or not)

          • No, that's not the definition of proprietary. Being a "closed network" and indeed a closed protocol does indeed make it proprietary.

            And it's interesting that you are giving bonus points for Google leveraging SMS when Apple does too.

            Basically, you are starting from the position - Google right, Apple wrong - then making up your own definitions and rules to support that conclusion. That's intellectually corrupt.

    • If you have internet access, sending a message via internet is potentially much cheaper than via SMS (unless you have an unlimited SMS plan).

      I'm not sure what plans are like in the USA, but here in Australia and from what I've seen from family in Europe people watch their data caps and couldn't care less about their SMS plans. The included value on SMSes even for the lowest tier plans is in the order of several hundred messages a day and you need to be a teenage girl in her first love to start worrying about hitting SMS allowances.

  • A utility for getting all my photos out of iPhoto, and all my data out of Time Machine?

    • Great! Now how about a utility for getting [...] all my data out of Time Machine?

      AFAIK Time Machine uses local storage. Then again I don't use iCloud, so maybe that's an option that I don't know about.

    • by Imagix ( 695350 )
      For iPhoto: Select all of your photos... choose Export from the File menu. Pick "Original" as the format, pick a directory to dump them all into. Not sure what you mean about "all my data out of Time Machine". Almost like asking "all my data out of my ZFS filesystem" (and I mean _all_, not just the current state. Each and every snapshot I have ever made...).
    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      A utility for getting all my photos out of iPhoto, and all my data out of Time Machine?

      You mean something that reads the HFS+ filesystem?

      Time Machine backups are copies of your files. If you have software that can read your original files then that very same software can also open the copy of the file that Time Machine made. You do not need Time Machine's interface to read these files.

      If you use Time Machine on a network drive then there's an additional step of mounting the disk image it creates, which is left as an exercise to the reader.

  • I was made aware of this by a friend of mine who recently moved, he switched his number, sent some "new number" texts. And replies from his friends were sent to the person who had his new number before him. He's never had an Apple device. Ever, and he was affected by this, in a much worse way than the usual "you don't get your texts" explanation. He was telling people "Hey this is me" those people then think: hey this is Joe, I can be sure it's him because he told me who he is. They then could respond with
    • This was what I was thinking too. Apple doesn't appear to have considered the recycling of phone numbers at all, either when they first did the redirection or when they created the deregistration process. What their system should do is monitor the iPhone and, if it hasn't connected to the network in the last 30 days using the phone number in question, automatically deregister the device from iMessage and revert to vanilla SMS for it. Or they should at least allow controlling this all through the Apple accou

    • by jbolden ( 176878 )

      That person still had the number registered and likely had a mac.

      So number X is tied to account Y. Account Y can still be delivered via. a mac or iPad or ... So from Apple's perspective everything is good. That person didn't deregister their number with Apple.

      • That's the fundamental flaw in this whole thing. Hopefully the carriers notice this (my friend had to contact his 5 times before they gave him another number for free) and make sure that Apple has been notified to take out the number before the number is put back into the pool. It seems ass backwards to me that the carriers have to do it but Apple sure doesn't seem to care to fix it. It's been a problem for at least 4 years and they're only now starting to address it. The form is nice and all but if it's no
        • by jbolden ( 176878 )

          Well Apple would love it if the carriers would just tell them when a number gets assigned to a new phone. But Apple doesn't know. It isn't that the carriers have to do it, or Apple doesn't care, but that the carriers don't want to incorporate Apple into their workflow.

          In the end it is a computer, garbage-in garbage-out. Someone has to take responsibility to maintain correct account informaiton If users don't care to do it, then obviously they don't care about messages going to the wrong people or not ge

          • You can't say it's the users fault. In my friend's situation the previous owner of the number was the one in control of whether he received his messages, not him. They were receiving all of their messages, plus any of his that were sent from an iPhone. You're living in a fantasy world if you think some random person is going to care about the fact that your messages are going to them.
            • by jbolden ( 176878 )

              You can't say it's the users fault. In my friend's situation the previous owner of the number was the one in control of whether he received his messages, not him.

              Well its the other guy's fault for not deregistering his number. In your friend's case he needs to let Apple know. What I'm saying is it isn't Apple's fault they have no way of knowing the change took place.

  • I went back to my old iPhone temporarily, but when I switched back to my android I wasn't getting some people's text messages. Thanks to this post, I know why! Went online to deregister my phone number and problem solved. It is a bummer to think how many text messages are now lost floating in cyber space.
  • I mean, getting removed from iMessage is not really something that Apple planned.

    Even if you deregister from iMessage, it might take 45(!!!) days till your phone number gets removed from all databases.

    http://www.businessinsider.com... [businessinsider.com]

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