By Pete Pachal
When Liz DeStasio’s smartphone abruptly stopped removing her parents’ content messages, she chalked it adult to old-person syndrome — that they had simply screwed adult a environment that was preventing a texts from removing through. But a missing-text problem began swelling to some-more of her contacts, confusing both her and her husband, Dominick.
Soon, they found a common thread: All of a people whose texts weren’t removing by were iPhone owners.
“It was indeed her father who beheld that whenever he sent a message, it was display adult as if it were sent underneath iMessage,” says Dominick. “Once he mentioned a iMessage thing, we put dual and dual together that all a people that were carrying difficulty messaging her had iPhones.”
It fast became apparent that Liz had been influenced by a famous problem with iMessage: That is, if someone switches from an iPhone to a non-Apple phone and neglects to spin off a use — that routes content messages by Apple’s servers instead of a carrier’s SMS network — afterwards that chairman will no longer get texts from other iPhones.
What’s function is, on a behind end, Apple still thinks a person’s phone is an iPhone. Thus those texts have nowhere to go when they strike a phone series compared with a iMessage account, given a use isn’t accessible on other phones. The problem has cropped adult time and again, inspiring many people who have switched from an iPhone to another platform.
There was usually one thing wrong with that theory, though: Liz DeStasio never owned an iPhone.
Liz had usually switched phones, upgrading to a Samsung Galaxy S4 from a failing Droid Bionic — both Android phones — removing a new phone series in a process. She and her family had usually altered behind to Pittsburgh from Las Vegas, so she felt her phone barter was a good time to embankment a 702 area formula as well.
The new series was Dominick’s initial idea in anticipating out accurately what was function to his wife’s blank texts. In his investigation, Dominick leveraged his imagination as a program engineer. He experimented with opposite kinds of texts from opposite people and reliable it usually influenced messages from iPhones.
Dominick got on a phone with a support chairman from Verizon. The initial chairman wasn’t unequivocally helpful, so he indispensable to go adult a integrate of levels to find someone who could help. One administrator pronounced they’d perform a back-end fix, that did nothing.
Finally, he got a Verizon network operative on a line. As they were speaking, it dawned on him that a prior owners of his wife’s phone series was a (former) iPhone owner, and hadn’t deactivated iMessage.
Although a operative couldn’t endorse that was a case, he pronounced it was a unequivocally trustworthy theory. However, Verizon couldn’t do anything about it, given iMessage is managed by Apple. The operative told him that if Dominick or someone during Verizon called Apple and asked for iMessage to be incited off on a specific phone number, a chances of Apple doing so were intensely low.
Dominick agreed, given he formerly had unhelpful practice with Apple’s tech support, so instead he motionless it would be easier for everybody if his mother usually switched her phone series again. As shortly as she did so, she began receiving texts again. Dominick compared a whole tale on his blog.
“The network operative and I, what we concluded to was, ‘She’s usually had this series for a day — let’s try a opposite number,’” says Dominick. “As shortly as we altered a number, it all started working.”
Based on practice others have had with this iMessage problem, Dominick done a right preference in not bothering to hit Apple. When Mashable contacted a association about a problem, Apple wouldn’t comment, and a tech support staff appears unsuitable when it comes to recommending fixes for this problem.
The customary response seems to be recommending a user simply deactivate iMessage on their aged phone. If that’s not probable (as was a box with Liz DeStasio), afterwards a association recommends a user wait out a 30 days it takes for a iMessage servers to reset a criticism (which apparently happens if a user’s phone series hasn’t been active on a complement for that long).
That’s a problem if we never indeed owned a iPhone. It’s also a problem if your iPhone has been broken or rendered inoperable given of damage, that happened to Bill McBain. McBain incidentally went swimming with his iPhone 4S still in his slot in July. When he came out of a water, he found a iPhone to be totally dead.
McBain had been definition to switch phones anyway, so when he got a new phone he opted for a Samsung Galaxy S4. But within a integrate of days, he began to notice he wasn’t removing texts from other iPhones. He now satisfied a problem was with iMessage, yet given his aged phone wasn’t operative during all, he couldn’t spin it on to deactivate a service.
When McBain contacted Apple, a usually repair they endorsed was to spin off iMessage by his aged phone. When a support chairman told him that was his usually option, he requested to pronounce to a supervisor. The administrator gave him usually 3 options: Turn off iMessage on a aged phone, steal a friend’s phone and use his new SIM label to spin off iMessage, or wait 30 days (an mention from a twin is below).
“Apple has got to have some inner approach of changing this info earlier and it was flattering frustrating that they offering no workaround,” McBain told Mashable around email. “Since this time I’ve also had a integrate coworkers speak about friends they knew that encountered a same issue.”
There are indeed a few other probable fixes Apple could have recommended. A user can go to a not-widely famous Apple form page, that lists all a Apple inclination a user has registered. From there, a user can de-register a iPhone, that infrequently fixes a issue, even yet registration generally usually relates to warranties and support, not services. Nonetheless, many posts in support forums and even some wireless carriers suggest this solution.
If de-registering a device doesn’t work, a user can change their Apple password, that requires all inclination compared with that Apple ID to reinstate hit with Apple’s servers. When that happens, a iMessage server should no longer see a person’s new (non-Apple) phone as an iPhone. However, if a user has compared iMessage with usually a phone series and not an Apple ID, this substantially won’t work.
Finally, a user can use Find My iPhone around iCloud.com to clean a phone. Even if a phone is destroyed, wiping a phone tells Apple’s servers to disjoin a iMessage tie — yet again, usually if a user has compared iMessage with a Apple ID (which it might not be, if it’s tied usually to a phone number).
However, McBain says he attempted all of those solutions, and nothing of them worked. Eventually, 21 days after he de-registered his phone, McBain got an programmed email from Apple informing him that is iMessage form had been modified, and he began receiving texts from iPhones again.
The iMessage emanate is also plaguing Jenny Liu, a co-worker of Dominick DeStasio. When Liu switched from an iPhone 4 to a Galaxy S4 she gifted a same problem of blank texts from iPhones. She says she has attempted both de-registering a device and changing her password, yet she is still incompetent to accept a texts.
Most likely, Liu and McBain had iMessage compared usually with a phone series and not an Apple ID. In those cases, there appears to be no discerning repair — not even on Apple’s end.
Unlike other messaging platforms such as Viber, WhatsApp and BlackBerry Messenger, iMessage intersects directly with SMS. Apple combines a dual services in a same app, evidently for user convenience. However, it’s also a categorical reason this problem continues to arise.
“Many [messaging] services currently fasten onto a phone number, that is ordinarily understood, yet it leads to these forms of collisions,” says Andrew Bocking, conduct of BlackBerry Messenger for BlackBerry. “We’ve always focused on a PIN series — it unequivocally supposing a singular identifier that’s apart from what would be a normal phone identifier. Because of that, obviously, it avoids this issue.”
Since iMessage is tied to a user’s phone series and affects SMS, wireless carriers have a seductiveness in regulating it. However, all of a vital carriers declined to criticism for this story — distinct deliberation Apple is an critical partner for them. However, a devoted source says during slightest one conduit has approached Apple about a issue, yet addressing it requires consistent government (i.e. money), and Apple has shown no seductiveness in appropriation such an effort.
Whether or not a association wants to work with carriers on recycled phone numbers, it’s misleading since Apple isn’t means to let users de-activate iMessage possibly around a web or a use call, as against to forcing them to wait weeks for a problem to repair itself.
“I consider uncanny is a right word for that,” says Bocking. “I remember this entrance adult a year and a half ago, and we suspicion they would have rubbed it over some 30-day timer. Generally speaking, I’m certain it could be rubbed better.”
iMessage initial came online in late 2011. Looking during forums given that time, a problem has come adult repeatedly, and it doesn’t seem Apple has addressed it outward of a cursory troubleshooting page. The miss of courtesy could be a elementary oversight, and a reason it’s not high on Apple’s priority list appears obvious, during slightest to Dominick.
“I can see a response, ‘If we had an iPhone, we wouldn’t have that problem,’” says Dominick. “I usually consider it’s a unequivocally bad implementation, and there’s no tie between a carriers. When a series goes behind in a pool, there needs to be some kind of an API where they can de-register that series from iMessage, and that apparently isn’t there.”
The smartphone marketplace is still growing. With Android marketplace share flourishing faster than Apple’s in many tools of a world, it stands to reason a incomparable series of people will switch from divided from iOS as time goes on. And as they do a tiny yet augmenting series of people will remove a ability to accept texts from many people.
“A lot of those new Android owners are expected former iPhone users, and if they are switching given their phone is inoperable Apple continues to reason their texts hostage,” says McBain. “I feel like a pointer of a good association is vouchsafing we leave if we want.”
The iPhone 5C could intensify a problem. The iPhone 5C is a lower-cost indication that appears to be directed during building markets — places where pre-paid plans, mixed SIM cards and constantly changing phone numbers are some-more common, if not a norm. However, if switching phone numbers can lead to a 30-day trance on texts from other iPhones, a iMessage problem could impact even some-more people in those markets, even among those who never owned an iPhone.
Apple is a association that prides itself on providing an glorious patron experience, yet that care doesn’t seem to extend to former customers. iMessage has a intensity to make their communication unsuitable once they leave iOS, yet a summary from Apple is clear: You’re on your own.
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