What happens when your phone number is tied to an Apple ID and you are no longer using an iOS device? Major messaging problems, according to Adam Pash, the former lead editor of Lifehacker.
The problem, which Pash calls “iMessage purgatory,” occurs when switching from an iPhone to an Android-based device. From this moment on, whenever someone with an iPhone tries to send you a text, you receive nothing. More worrisome, even though the message was never delivered, the sender continues to receive read receipts, when applicable.
As an AppleCare representative explained to Pash:
- 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.
First introduced in 2011, Apple’s iMessage service is supposed to save people money — and it does, when it works as intended.
Whenever one Apple user is texting another, the message is converted into an iMessage and sent to the recipient by Apple, not your carrier. This setup happens automatically when you add a contact and place their phone number in the iPhone field in the Contacts app. Unfortunately, things can go wrong when someone stops using the associated Apple ID.
So what is Apple’s current solution to this mess?
Android users who are no longer receiving text messages from iPhone users should ask their friends to delete them from their contacts list. When they re-add your information, they should select Mobile, not iPhone, as the telephone number field.
This solution, if you really want to call it that, is both time consuming and intrusive, no? Besides, how do you know when someone is sending you messages that are not being received?
Hopefully, Apple is working on a better solution.