However, all it took from me was a call to Apple's customer service, I told them I had just switched off my iPhone and no longer got texts from people with iMessage and they immediately sent me to a tech that fixed the problem for me.
Have you been explaining it correctly when you call? All I said was "I had an iPhone until last week, switched to another phone but I'm still registered for iMessage"
Edit: According to my phone I called 1-800-692-7753 (Which is just 1-800-MY-APPLE) and my call took 8 mins 25 seconds total. Not too bad of an experience.
I called the number you listed, and they confirmed that iMessage is already turned off for that number (which I did on my iPhone after switching to a Nexus 5 as well).
Most of my friends' iPhones will still send iMessages to me, and most of the time their phones don't even say delivery of the messages failed.
The tech support guy at 1-800-MY-APPLE told me that I should ask all of my friends to remove their existing text message threads with me from the messaging app. As the only proposed solution to my problem, this is already annoying enough. To make matters even worse, I just had one of my friends do exactly what they suggested, and his phone is STILL trying to send me iMessages.
It's unbelievable that Apple shows this little regard for their former customers. (Not to mention the fact that as an owner of several Apple products, I'm actually a current customer.)
From what I understand, it's less of a deliberate "HAHA SCREW YOU" and more of a caching issue on their iMessage registration side. The removal of my number took around 24 hours to propagate to their services (e.g. if a person who didn't have a thread with me put in my number, it would show green not blue) and I had to have some friends delete our chat history since my iMessage-ness was cached on their phone.
I think Apple only checks iMessage registration in pull format, e.g. when someone toggles iMessage on/off on their phone, rather than constantly checking it through some "does this phone have service" background test.
Also you don't have to call tech support. You can deregister iMessage from Settings (by turning it off) before you activate a new phone.
For bonus points, take care of false positives in this system by storing enough metadata in iMessage to deduplicate the iMessage and SMS copies.
I'd say the problem is they're keeping you signed in for too long. If my phone doesn't check in for 24 hours, shouldn't it un-register me at least until I next check in?
Apple: Broken by design, broken at inception.
Making it possible to deregister by logging into your Apple Account over the web would deal with 100% of the problem, which is people not being aware of the issue before switching off of iOS.
Edit: someone on this thread has confirmed
They could release an iMessage client for Android and PC.
It's their technology. Why should I provide the fix of a system that's not built by me, and have no control over it?
Can't you assume that if a phone has iMessage open, you assume that number is active and poll to send keepalives. If the user has not opened iMessage for a while, you disassociate the number with iMesage. Before trying to send a message via iMessage, the server would check and reply if that user is still associated, if not the phone will fallback to SMS.
I know a lot of people are saying that this shouldn't even have to be a step when you switch phones, but the fact is that you chose to use iMessage for the features. It could have been turned off at any time, they are not forcing you to use it.
It would be great if there was a way to fix this without having to call (or unregister your phone number from your apple id), because of not being able to know that it's happening. But it's not like Apple is deliberately trying to keep your messages hostage. Besides, you've already switched phones.
It also just sounds like there was a bad experience with a particular tech support rep, who may be new. In my experience, these issues are ALWAYS exceptions to the $20 fee. If the 'standard' workarounds don't fix it, they will escalate you to a supervisor and put in a ticket with engineering who will resolve the issue within 48 hours.
Maybe OP will see this and give their tech support another shot. If not, the token expires in about 28 days.
*This information is less than a year old, but rules may have changed.
This is false. I just called 1-800-MY-APPLE (details in my reply to GP) and they said I had already deactivated iMessage for the number and that I needed to tell all of my friends to delete their existing threads with me. And then even that did not fix the problem.
It has been about a week and I still cannot receive text messages from iPhone users I've iMessaged in the past.
What is perhaps most frustrating is that Apple seems incapable of changing the situation. Adding insult to injury, Apple is requiring that I pay a $20 fee to speak with a technician.
This does not follow.
If I change water providers, the previous water provider does have the right to stop me from receiving more water.
Sounds like that doesn't happen.
Of course if you just throw the phone away without ever doing something to indicate it's no longer in use (to Apple, not your cell carrier) then the results are more sane. That can't happen to every one of these people though.
If my phone is stolen, so I wipe my phone via MDM. I still need to communicate, so I can use my Mac or iPad to do so transparently to the other parties.
This is a common issue whenever you do caching. Outlook fubars contacts whenever you migrate Exchange users to or from a system.
Here's my update: It's been about 4 months or so since I switched.
Nothing I was able to do or Apple was able to do fixed the problem. I was able to put Messages into debug mode and I sent Apple a full debug log (Apple bug report #15966535). They marked the ticket as "Duplicate" and I was no longer able to view any updates.
After about 3 months, most of the issue has resolved.
The majority of group-texts work now; iPhones now send the whole thread is MMS not iMessage. It's still not 100% but pretty good.
Most of my friends can send SMS without failures, but quite a few still get "iMessage failed" and have to "resend as SMS".
I've completely given up trying to fix the problem. Just hoping the remaining iOS devices resolve themselves at some point, or Apple fixes in next update.
<rant>Everyone thinks this is an Android problem that they can't message me anymore. Really tough to explain to the world that it's _their_ phone that's buggy.</rant>
Sometimes the message will say its failed to deliver and you get the option back.
It would be nice to have that done automatically, but at least it's there sometimes.
Does anyone who works at/worked at Google know why this happened?
Were they trying to turn the telecoms into dumb pipes with the original Nexus and gizmo5 purchase, but when that failed just abandoned the idea? You'd think the success of whatsapp and facebook chat would make chat a priority. If people communicate using your platform they're more likely to use your account for other things.
First: if a person has SMS and also a google account, they are just put toghether under the same hood, but they don't get mixed, just get sorted. An SMS goes associated with the number so I would not receive a SMS as a talk message or what ever.
Second: if I am getting a message ( over Gtalk or Hangouts ) all my devices ( including Chrome) are receiving it in the same (relative) time. No stealing around, all my conversations are sync'd everywhere.
A lot of my friends have complained about this problem as well.
I'm surprised Apple hasn't moved faster to come up with a solution. Seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
The best way to get this fixed would probably be for iPhone users who lose the ability to message their friend to complain to Apple, not the former customer.
Sad though. Apple is so good at customer service in many contexts. But sometimes they seem to decide on one of these seemingly purposeful blindspots and treat people terribly.
Suppose that someone tried texting someone for medical assistance (silly, I know...), and that message was not delivered because the recipient changed their phone but kept their number, is that the fault of the person that changed their phone or is it the fault of Apple for not being able to realise that people might someday want to change devices?
They did realize it. There are two mechanisms for handling this issue - turning off iMessage in Settings before deactivating your iPhone, and calling Apple after deactivating your iPhone. Both are documented.
There is no way for your iPhone to know it's been deactivated and still communicate with Apple. If anything it's the fault of the carriers for not providing Apple with an API hook for "this iPhone was just deactivated."
Also SMS is many times more lossy than iMessage. I've had messages show up to my friends on AT&T several days after they were sent, and not all. SMS messages longer than the length limit almost always arrive out of order, and sometimes parts don't arrive at all. Relying on non-iMessage texting for medical assistance is stupid to begin with.
I think Apple would be much more likely to respond if a bunch of people posted "My friend went to Android and now my iPhone won't text him". Frame it as issues of current customers.
They've let it go this long, so I somewhat doubt they'll make it easier; they probably would have done it by now. Re-framing it might help push it though.
That a fact? There are still 3 Macbooks, an iMac, my wife's iPhone, two iPads, and an Apple TV in the house that didn't just up and disappear when I switched to an Android phone.
An ex-customer who is being irreconcilably inconvenienced by your product through no fault of their own may not produce any additional revenue for you but seems pretty unnecessarily disrespectful to treat them that way.
It would be like a restaurant refusing to increase food standards because you stopped being a regular.
Sadly it just doesn't surprise me. In some ways/places Apple pulls this kind of crap.
It's good that Apple has a way to fix this if you call support (a few years ago I don't think they did), but this should all be fixed.
Really? I didn't stop using iTunes for music just because I stopped using iPhone.
IM (under which I include iMessage) is user-to-user, not device-to-device. It can know about the recipient and whether messages are received.
Each of these things has advantages.
SMS works because the phone network is always tracking a device. It is very addressable. The receiving device is mobile, rarely changes, and is singular.
IM has a notion of sessions. The user signs off and on. It can travel over any IP connection. The device on which the user is addressable changes a lot. There may be multiple devices, making the definition of “delivered” a bit less deterministic.
Conflating these two makes for a confusing mental model for the user, and for failures like this.
I did, however, have to do a quick Google search, log in to my iTunes account through the web, and de-register my Apple devices. The problem was solved relatively quickly and for free.
This should be simpler, but I'm not sure how much easier Apple can make it. They can't make an iOS app to help you because you got rid of the iPhone. It seems strange to make an Android app to help you. That leaves the web. Better luck to you!
You have to keep in mind that your steps don't work for everyone. There is no definitive set of steps that consistently work. I say this is as someone who has gone back and forth between iOS and Android a couple of times. What worked last time doesn't necessarily work the next time.
I filled a complaint with the FCC at https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form2000.action?form_type.... It is a form for complaints against wireless carriers for number portability issues.
In the hopes of actually solving your issue, I hate to suggest this, but try reconnecting your number to imessage (and make sure you get any new imessage texts), then properly turn off imessage from that device. The defacto unplug it plug it back in.
Turns out, one of their iPhones recognized that it should start texting me, while the other's iPhone kept iMessaging me w/out delivering failure reports. So frustrating that I forced them to get WhatsApp!
Seriously though, iMessage should have some sort of interoperability on other devices, even if its just a web interface you can log into to make configuration changes, including the deletion/deactivation of an account associated with a mobile phone number.
Edit: Or even monitoring iPhones associated with a number and disabling iMessage if said phone is no longer online with that number? Could possibly even forward unread messages, etc.
Though this only works if you attached your iPhone to your Apple ID in the first place. The phone bugs you about it repeatedly but many people do not do so.
The only thing available related to the web interface accessible from that URL that is similar to that is that you can alter contact phone numbers (daytime, evening, and mobile) associated with your Apple Account, it doesn't say anything about iMessage associations.
So, if that's the way to do it, its interesting that:
1) There is nothing in the UI that indicates that it has that effect, and
2) Apple's own help page directs you to call support rather than doing that.
The OP has said  that he dissociated his number from iMessage and people who text him from iPhones are not getting through to him. That is problematic if you want to receive text messages on a non Apple phone.
It would seem he wrote in his blog in order to get help or bring it to a wider attention.
The solution is there however, Apple just needs to fix their iMessage software to properly disassociate the number with iMessage.
Again, like my unnecessarily down voted comment suggested, unlike this blog suggests, the solution is there, it just doesn't work.
Sorry, just realized I am arguing over the formality of someone's self opinionated BLOG...I'll show myself to the door.
I have a weird feeling the messages still aren't going through and a lot of my friends think I'm being an asshole.
Just another lock-in behaviour from them.
Moreover, before you sell your device or give it away, make sure you turn iMessage off.
The thing is, I have not owned ANY smartphone before this one. My guess was the previous owner of this number had an iPhone and registered for iMessage service. iMessage route sms through its own server it never reached my carrier's network. I tried to get help from Apple store technician, but since I am not an apple customer, past or present, employee did not see a need to help.
Problem is I really liked that number. After 2 months of struggle I gave up and changed to a new number.
I will admit I never liked Apple and do my best to purge iProducts from my life. But I guess you just cannot avoid being screwed, anyway.
TLDR; Deactive iMessages on your iPhone before switching or go here if you don't have access to your phone. http://supportprofile.apple.com/MySupportProfile.do
Sounds like that's not enough from reports below tho
on iPhone - Disable iMessage from the settings menu.
- Go back to messages and send a standard text message to the phone number.
- Enable iMessage from the settings menu.
Google isn't doing #2. The SMS integration with Hangouts is limited to just showing your SMS and IM messages in one view. When you send a message, you send it through one channel or the other explicitly. Google doesn't ever guess how you wanted to send it, so they can't guess wrong.
Well, that's potentially misleading. Hangouts (at least, the Android app) does show an icon showing how the message will be sent, but it sets the default based, I'm fairly certain, on the last message sent either direction in the conversation with the recipient (I do know it gives you a message explicitly telling you when it changes the default and why.)
You can tell it to send by a message other than the default (there's a button right on the main UI), but it does guess.
Worst case is that you will get e-mails instead of SMS's.
Also the SMS + Hangouts combination is on YOUR end, if other people start using the app and sending you messages on Hangouts it's because they wanted to.
Worst case scenario here is that you add a friend via Hangouts and you assume it's going to their phone but they only ever reply to you when they're checking their email.
Somewhat odd - I can receive individual texts from two people that have iPhones but if one of them sends a group text to both of us, I do not receive it.
Google beats any site search I've used.
It's not clear why this seems okay. "We've stolen contact for a year. We're working on it."
Seems like anti-competitive behavior. Stopped buying Apple 100% immediately once I found out.
I gave Apple a call and initially the only response I could get from them was "Just turn on iMessage" and general confusion about why I had it turned off in the first place.
Eventually someone I talked to said they could fix it, and shortly after I started receiving messages again.
Friends of mine have moved from iPhone to Android, when I send them a message it tries with iMessage - and I get the message failure exclamation mark. It then resends as a text and doesn't try iMessage again for some time. Haven't really had the black hole experience yet...
Turn "Send as SMS" so that it falls back to SMS if the destination is not available for iMessage.
A few comments here seem to suggest that this is a carrier or cellular infrastructure issue. It isn't! iMessage doesn't route over SMS-- that's the whole point. It routes to Apple's servers, which should be capable of doing a lookup to see if the number still has an associated iCloud or iMessage account.
There was a fairly recent change in how iMessages are handled. In one of the iOS updates, you can receive iMessage messages on numerous devices tied to your Apple ID such as your iPad. I wonder if that's where the bug comes from.
The other option is to switch to Android at home and get new friends.
Yes, one can, and this is the correct and documented way to avoid this problem. Unfortunately, people don't generally think about it before asking their carrier to swap out phones on their line, and your iPhone has no way of knowing you intend to deactivate it.
It baffles me that online iCloud doesn't have a dashboard for controlling this. Doesn't seem it should be that hard to unlink phone numbers from iMessage.
When I had my iPhone, I had originally linked both my email and my phone number to the same iMessage account, so fortunately I never lost messages.
If it was tied to your email as well, you might be able to disable the service via another apple device.
Been going on like this for over a month.
What adds insult to injury is that all ios devices are shipped by default with the setting set to not send by sms when user not found on iMessage.
Apple should own up to this problem publicly and compensate users.
Sometime back they were arrogant and brilliant, not just the former.
Why this exact same issue is poppup up in HN every now and then...
It would be great to see an interoperable solution replace iMessage, but for now, it is (purportedly) secure and often more reliable than text messaging. I still pay for an unlimited sms plan.
I just couldn't bring myself to be extorted 25 or 50 cents per text. Why is there no government investigation in to this? No class action?
I thank Apple for at least allowing me to text the majority of my friends for free.
It punishes people who move away from their platform with social isolation.
It's easy for them to overlook this issue and not put any effort into fixing it, because the investment would result in a better experience for everyone who switching away from Apple.
If one thinks about it for just a moment, one can see the hilarity of even suspecting this. Apple has very consistently provided the best overall experience and service in the industry over the last 15 years. They have done this regardless of whether you are using one of their products (PC users who use iTunes) or their entire ecosystem of products.
It strains credulity to think that Apple would attempt to punish a customer who is moving away from a given iPhone (perhaps even to a new iPhone!). That customer could very well still use several other Apple products for years or even decades in the future. You expect us to believe that Apple would antagonize that customer in a grade-school fashion, out of spite?
It's just nonsense to even think this.
Save your opinionated anti Apple rhetoric. The color coded indicator allows people to know which features are included in the service, or whether your text was delivered and read or in your case, not delivered...
So, to the extent that the Apple behavior can be seen as signalling in-group membership with color of messages, it is distinctly different from Google Hangouts, since the only person whose messages are colored to indicate delivery method in Hangouts are yours, not the ones you receive from others.
On iOS, messages were always green, until the introduction of iMessages. The blue colour is therefore associated with newness. Like when you open a skeuomorphic iOS 6 app and no matter if you like the interface or not it's associated with an older.. dare I say "dated" look and feel.
On Android I don't know the history, but I do know that grey is definitely less vibrant than green... grey is dull, faded, old, etc.
I mean, we can argue about the size of the impact of these choices, but you must agree there was some intention to them.
It's a number you can't even pick yourself: you _pay_ to get a randomly assigned digits, at best with the ability to reroll (also not always free).
To me, it feels like someone using an `@aol.com` email in 2014. Or a rotary phone.
The use case here, Apple's iMessage, in fact allows users to use alternate methods of user lookup, including multiple email addresses.
If you don't find it acceptable, what do you propose as an alternative?
So far, the best alternative for id that I've found is...
It's highly available, free to create, and you can pick your own letters/numbers that are meaningful. It can even be your name. Definitely better than phone number digits at being an id that I can share with my friends or those who I want to be able to contact me.
(For voice calls, I primarily use FaceTime Audio because they support email as id. But I also have skype, voip number for backwards compatibility, etc.)
(Also, the "pay to get a randomly assigned number" isn't always true: my Google Voice number was free, and I got to ask for particular digits string to be included and got to choose from a list of numbers that met that requirement.)
1. Reset your Apple ID password and do not log back in on your device(s)
2. Send a text to 48369 with the word STOP
It won’t happen immediately but over a 12-hour period, you should start receiving texts on your Android device that are sent from iPhone users.
EDIT: holy crap, as toddn points out above, apparently that section is also to contradict the bad information that is passed around in Apple's own KB articles: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5538
We all ended up on Google Hangouts in the end (the iOS app is nice!)