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Old May 22, 2014, 07:31 AM   #1
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Apple's iMessage Delivery Problems Worsened by Server Glitch




iPhone owners switching from their iPhone to another device often encounter an issue with lost messages that are incorrectly delivered to their inactive iPhone, instead of their new phone. This issue is a long-standing problem that was recently made worse by a server glitch, claims Apple in a statement provided to Re/code.

Apple's iMessage service allows iPhone owners to exchange messages using Apple's iMessage servers, instead of the carrier's text messaging network. The system relies on the accurate identification of the originating and recipient devices as iPhones. When this identification fails, the message delivery system falls apart.

The lost messages problem arises when an iPhone owner switches to another smartphone, such as an Android device, and keeps their existing number. In select cases, Apple's iMessage service continues to recognize the phone number as being attached to an iPhone, instead of the new Android device. This recognition mistake causes a problem with messaging as Apple's iMessaging servers will route the message as an iMessage instead of converting it to a standard text message.

Apple advises iPhone owners to turn off iMessage on their phone and uncheck the number in other iMessage-compatible devices attached their iCloud account before switching devices. This method doesn't always remove the phone number from Apple's iMessage server, forcing former iPhone owners to contact Apple to remove them from the iMessage system manually. A recent server glitch has disabled this manual removal, leaving Apple support representatives temporarily unable to fix this problem for some customers.
Quote:
"We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update," Apple told Re/code in a statement. "For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare."
Apple has not provided a time-frame for the release of this software update. Until a fix is in place, customers will have to contact AppleCare for further guidance on how to handle this troublesome issue.


Article Link: Apple's iMessage Delivery Problems Worsened by Server Glitch
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:34 AM   #2
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AppleCare rep: "In order to resolve this issue it is recommended you purchase an iPhone"
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:34 AM   #3
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Damn. I thought it was also going to fix the iMessage sync problems. My 3GS(It is an iPod now, no sim card) , iPad 2 and Macbook keep in sync but my iPhone 5 is always out of sync -_- its very very annoying. I do have all the right settings but it still happens
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:39 AM   #4
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Apple seems unable to get their hands around this problem. I've had issues with iMessage on and off since the roll out - very disappointed.
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:39 AM   #5
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I've messaged a message
.
.
.
.
.

Last edited by needfx; May 22, 2014 at 08:07 AM.
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:42 AM   #6
Jimrod
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iMessage is pretty terrible even with an iPhone.

3G reception where I live (UK, town of 250k people, hardly the sticks!) is pretty poor so I usually have it turned off to save battery life (or indeed when travelling abroad to avoid data roaming often for work). Which means whenever I go out of range of wi-fi messaging becomes an endless cycle of "sending" and not receiving until random points later in the day/week from other iPhone users or Android users alike! iMessage is the new iTunes - ie. shoddy and unreliable.
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:44 AM   #7
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iMessage for Android would solve this problem! :P
Though seriously I would love either a web based and other OS based solutions to iMessage. I love using it but at work I'm stuck on a Windows PC. Rather than having to pull out my phone when ever my Pebble goes off I'd love to be able to just reply on the computer, which is what I do most of the time at home.... same goes if I were to switch to and Android phone/device.

Oh well one can keep wishing.
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jimrod View Post
Which means whenever I go out of range of wi-fi messaging becomes an endless cycle of "sending" and not receiving until random points later in the day/week from other iPhone users or Android users alike! iMessage is the new iTunes - ie. shoddy and unreliable.
Android users can't send you an iMessage. It seems that you have a problem with regular SMS.
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:49 AM   #9
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iphone to (former) iphone only?

Is this only an issue when iPhone-using friends try to message the former iPhone user? In that the contact in the friend's iPhone is considered only an iMessage recipient? Because otherwise, what the heck Apple, you should have NOTHING to do with the phone number once the person is no longer using your services. This problem stems from Apple being a presumptuous company assuming that no one worthwhile could ever choose to use products other than their own. A massive, arrogant oversight.
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Old May 22, 2014, 07:59 AM   #10
Jimrod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLL View Post
Android users can't send you an iMessage. It seems that you have a problem with regular SMS.
I know, but I mean ex-iPhone users who've switched, I always have issues messaging them and them me. I have to turn iMessage off nowadays to get any kind of reliability. I should have clarified that.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:00 AM   #11
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I usuallly have to send stuff as a text message because even with full 5 LTE bars, they will either fail to send or just stay on the phone for hours unsent, so annoying...
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:01 AM   #12
Kenn Marks
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Sales persons problem

Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:03 AM   #13
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I wonder how many relationships broke because of this.
"You're never answering my messages! You're with that slut, aren't you?"
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:05 AM   #14
mattopotamus
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I do not really know the extent of the imessage problem, but aren't most issues b.c people forget to turn imessage off? I wouldn't really call that a glitch.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:07 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattopotamus View Post
I do not really know the extent of the imessage problem, but aren't most issues b.c people forget to turn imessage off? I wouldn't really call that a glitch.
Atleast there would be ability to turn off/deactivate iMessage via Apple ID website. It should solve the issue.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogulas View Post
Is this only an issue when iPhone-using friends try to message the former iPhone user? In that the contact in the friend's iPhone is considered only an iMessage recipient? Because otherwise, what the heck Apple, you should have NOTHING to do with the phone number once the person is no longer using your services. This problem stems from Apple being a presumptuous company assuming that no one worthwhile could ever choose to use products other than their own. A massive, arrogant oversight.
The problem is that Apple is not your telephone service provider, so there is no way for them to know, automatically, that you no longer are using that phone with that number. So, "what the heck", how is Apple supposed to even know they "should have NOTHING" to do with the number unless YOU tell them? YOU have to de-register your phone with their service.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Marks View Post
Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
You are absolutely 100% correct! Very rare thing on MacRumors, sir-- a 100% correct, detailed explanation. I therefore give you a ten grin-Apple salute!!

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Old May 22, 2014, 08:18 AM   #17
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A complicated issue indeed, that no other messaging service appears to ever have. SMS, email, Skype, etc... always delivered to the right place. Why is this so freaking difficult?

Similarly to iMessage, FaceTime also screws things up badly. I have given up on using FaceTime for this reason, you never know where the hell it's going to ring and whether it's even going to ring or not (doesn't tell you if the person you're calling even has an iPhone to receive the call or not). Good luck, you've got 2500 contacts, all of which appear to be available for FaceTime, but only 3 of them actually are. Have fun with that!
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:24 AM   #18
Kenn Marks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post
iMessage for Android would solve this problem! :P
Though seriously I would love either a web based and other OS based solutions to iMessage. I love using it but at work I'm stuck on a Windows PC. Rather than having to pull out my phone when ever my Pebble goes off I'd love to be able to just reply on the computer, which is what I do most of the time at home.... same goes if I were to switch to and Android phone/device.

Oh well one can keep wishing.
I'm surprised Samsung hasn't stolen that technology as well. Or maybe they just want someone other than themselves suing Apple.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXiro View Post
iMessage for Android would solve this problem! :P
Though seriously I would love either a web based and other OS based solutions to iMessage. I love using it but at work I'm stuck on a Windows PC. Rather than having to pull out my phone when ever my Pebble goes off I'd love to be able to just reply on the computer, which is what I do most of the time at home.... same goes if I were to switch to and Android phone/device.

Oh well one can keep wishing.
Why would they when something so small and simple can force you to buy a Mac.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Marks View Post
Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
I don't follow your logic. Are you suggesting the sales person at the local AT&T/Walmart/Target/Best Buy should be able to fix an issue that Apple can't even fix yet? That doesn't make sense to me. The fix you suggested doesn't work all the time: "This method doesn't always remove the phone number from Apple's iMessage server, forcing former iPhone owners to contact Apple to remove them from the iMessage system manually." What should the sales person do when it doesn't work?

To put this on a sales person at some phone store seems to totally ignore the genesis of the issue: Apple. A simple effort by Apple should have eliminated 100% of the issues after it was initially discovered. Does Apple have no culpability in this?
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:32 AM   #21
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Soooo glad I went back to my iPhone 5 from the Galaxy S5 I tried out at AT&T, phone was nice but had trouble texting friends and personally just like the iOS better.

I still have tons of trouble texting friends who switched from iOS to Android
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:35 AM   #22
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So let me get this straight!

You're going to give the middle finger to the most valuable company in the world so you can sleep with the enemy, and Apple is suppose to help you with this process and let you make a seamless transition?

This is not a bug or an issue IMO. I honestly don't think they will even fix it, nor should they.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:39 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Marks View Post
Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
The problem I think you're missing is that turning iMessage off in settings, only fixed the problem 50% of the time... the rest of the time it DID NOT fix the problem and using Apples KB articles to help fix the issue (i.e.. de-registering your iPhone from your Apple account/Apple ID) also did not fix the problem but only 50% of the time. This is why on their end they needed a bug fix server side and why there is still another software update coming client side... If the issue was simply to turn iMessage off before you left a device then a server side fix would not be required and it wouldn't be a 'bug' it was be an education and RTFM issue, however it is not.

Like I said before, in the IT shop I run we have some 15K iPhones that we manage and I can tell you from repeated and I mean REPEATED experience that simply turning off iMessage on the old device DOES NOT fix this problem. It does maybe about 50% of the time… the other 50% of the time when iMessage is turned off on the old the device and someone tries to send you a txt, it still defaults to iMessage. Additionally even if the person sending the message deletes the old conversation and with it all links to the previous iMessage, it still defaults to iMessage when they try to txt you again. This is a technical issue, not an issue of comprehension. Maybe if this was an experience of 1 time, it could be anecdotal and possibly an issue of not knowing the proper procedure however we’ve combed many KB articles from Apple and have spent much time on the phone with Apple support (as you can image when managing thousands of phones) and I can tell you this is a real technical issue that they need to fix.
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:44 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Marks View Post
Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
Fanboyism at its finest... Surely Apple isn't capable of making a mistake!
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Old May 22, 2014, 08:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Marks View Post
Since this has been an issue since iOS 5 the sales people who were chasing the extra commission of a SPIFFd non-iPhone are to blame for this getting out of hand. A good sales person knows his product and how to give the customer the best experience with their new product. Therefore if a customer was switching from an iPhone to competing platform, the first question to ask after finding if the customer wants to migrate photos and contacts is do they use Apple's iMessage feature (ie do you get Blue text balloons when you text other iPhone users?). If so, before switching the SIM, the salesperson should help the customer go into settings and turn off the iMessage feature and then send a test text to a known iPhone contact to verify that iMessage is disabled, indicated by the Green text balloon. This simple effort by the sales staff should have eliminated the majority of the defecting iPhone users text receipt issues after it was initially discovered.
This is a totally realistic expectation in a world dominated by online shopping.
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