Apple acknowledges iMessages ‘hijacked text’ issue

“Adam Pash, former lead editor of Lifehacker, reports that Apple has acknowledged a problem we’ve heard reported before: text messages continue to be converted to iMessages and forwarded to an Apple ID even when that ID is no longer in use,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “This means that any text messages sent from an iPhone are reported as delivered while actually disappearing into the ether.”

“When you add a contact and place their phone number in the iPhone field, the Messages app converts what would otherwise be a text message into an iMessage,” Lovejoy reports. “While this typically saves money for anyone paying per text message, it can result in lost messages when someone stops using the associated Apple ID.”

Lovejoy reports, “Apple suggested that he ask all his contacts to remove him as a contact and re-add him, selecting Mobile rather than iPhone as the field for his telephone number, a solution that would require contacting everyone who has him listed in their iPhone.”

More info and links in the full article here.

17 Comments

  1. The issue I have when I got the iP5 is that iMessages stopped using the mobile # for all the other devices. So I could text on the iPhone via mobile but not see them on my mac or iPad.
    Fixing it requires to go into each device and reset the device to use the mobile #.

    1. As I read the original article and comments, the issue is that using iMessage (listing a phone number as iPhone vs mobile) means that one way uses Apple systems first and only defaults to SMS if needed.

      If you had an iPhone and moved to Android, you have to make the correct changes. NO magic. NO evil Apple, etc. Just facts like moving from ford to chevy. Things change, things work different.

      Nuff said. 🙂

      1. You are assume people are moving voluntarily. You are assuming the phone didn’t get stolen, or dropped in a toilet, or otherwise damaged to the point where you can actually log out of iMessage. So when someones phone is destroyed, along with them having to recoup all their contacts, pictures, and purchase a new phone, they must deal with their messages not coming. When my iPhone was broken I had to borrow and Android phone for a couple of weeks until I could afford a new one. In that time, I got not a single message from any of my iPhone friends and the Apple Store was unable to help me get it unregistered.

    2. What a load of FUD. So called “tech” writers don’t like it that Apple beat the quarterly earnings and sold a boatload of iPhones contrary to all their “expert” opinions. So now they have to come out with a fake message problem to try to drag Apple back down. False headline, Apple never admitted anything of the sort, just a cheap article trying to score points with a mysterious Apple rep. Yeah right.

  2. This has been a problem since Day 1 of iMessage, and it’s annoying. Not only do I hate when my friends leave iOS devices for Android, it’s made that much worse that Apple won’t let me text them.

    It’s strange that Apple requires so much work to fix the problem by the end-user. When you log out of iMessage on your phone prior to switching devices, it works about 50% of the time. However, the problem remains on the users phone.

    Apple needs to have a status check…say once a day or two or when the phone is backing up that checks the iMessage users to make sure they are still active on iMessage and adjust accordingly. That would have half the problem.

    The second half can be solved by pinging the phone with a notification and seeing if the phone responds that the user is active and logged in. If the phone does not, then it may indicate that the user has switched devices and iMessage could be temporarily turned off until such time a message has been sent. This could also be done during a backup of a phone…where it sends a status to apple, and if Apple doesn’t have a status update for over 24 hours, it does the ping.

    At the very least, they should have a button in their AppleID management website to allow someone to deactivate iMessage per device through the web browser, similar to how Facebook or Yahoo or Google lets you see what devices you are logged in and sharing with, and allows you to revoke access to a particular device.

    All of these would be great solutions that should be fairly simple.

    1. Ben, Sorry to hear that when you downgrade from Apple giving you neat free service and better service that you have a problem. But from what I have read, its a simple changing your friends sending message to your “iPhone” to mobile.

      Yeah, its a pain. Sort of like having to move your iTunes library etc. But hey, its no different than going from Android 4.0 to an android phone on 3.0. Guess stuff ends up not working. Sadly my ford truck parts do not fit my chevy truck either. LOL

      Just saying.

    2. I think you mis-read my comment. I have had every iPhone ever made and still do. This problem are for my so called “friends” that leave. How come I as a loyal apple customer can no longer message my friends without me (again the loyal apple customer) having to go through and edit my contact record? Apple is making me (the apple customer) do extra work to make up for someone else leaving their service. That is the problem.

  3. As if this was an issue of an sort!?!

    There’s absolutely no reason to contact ANYONE who’s given up their Apple ID. They have lost any/all redeeming qualities.

  4. There are some pretty insensitive or ignorant comments here.

    It’s not just an issue for people that leave Apple; it also affects people who have had their iPhone lost, stolen or broken and need to use a temporary phone until they can purchase a new iPhone. To make matters worse, until they get a new iPhone (which may take a while) that they can restore their contacts from backup or iCloud, they can’t easily message all of their contacts to request that they drop and create their contact info.

    Apple should really have a more elegant solution for this.

      1. So again, instead of having it automated and “just work” like Apple likes to advertise, your solution is to make a simple phone call. While it may not be hard to call Apple, it’s still more steps involved then when something “just works”.

  5. I am experiencing this very problem. I switched to Android and promptly stopped receiving texts from people with iPhones. I called Apple support and they claim that my number is no longer in the iMessage database and just to be certain, they had me send a text message, “STOP”, to some special number that would definitively remove it. It didn’t work. People still cannot text me from iPhones. Apple suggested telling everyone I know to delete my contact and re-add it, but, aside from being a terrible solution, it doesn’t work either. One friend got a new iPhone and had not texted me from it yet so I was telling him about the problem and asked him to try it. He launched the Messages app and brought up my name from his contacts. I watched it turn from green to blue indicating that his iPhone detected my number as being iMessage enabled. Of course, I did not receive his text until I showed him how to resend it as SMS. I have also tried every other solution including changing my Apple ID password and turning off iMessage on every Apple device I own. Nothing has worked. I am very angry that Apple cannot simply delete whatever it is in my Apple ID profile that is causing this. Anyone defending Apple on this issue does not understand the technology at play here and Apple’s inability to make it work correctly.

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