iPhone iMessage activation fail on Google Fi and iOS 13.3

Joelcarlos

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2019
11
5
Miami
After I restore my phone over iOS 13.3 iMessage and FaceTime activation is failing constantly. I use Google Fi and I think must be related to that.
I contacted Apple support but they are clueless about it.
Anyone else with the same issue?
 

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Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
After I restore my phone over iOS 13.3 iMessage and FaceTime activation is failing constantly. I use Google Fi and I think must be related to that.
I contacted Apple support but they are clueless about it.
Anyone else with the same issue?
I have absolutely the same problem. I have an iPhone 11 Pro Max with Verizon as the eSIM and Fi as the physical SIM. Even Apple claims that BOTH carriers can be connected simultaneously to iMessage/FaceTime. Worked great for two weeks. After updating to 13.3, Fi refuses to connect to iMessage or FaceTime. When I try to connect, I get that weird text message you are getting every 10-15 minutes from Fi.... always starts with “REG-RESP?” and shows my Fi number in the body of the text. Obviously something is not going right with the registration for iMessage. Verizon on the same phone has no issue with iMessage or FaceTime.

very very disappointed in Apple‘s support on this issue ...... they are 100% clueless.. all they do is read from their troubleshooting script. Fi support is even worse.

Charlie
 

Joelcarlos

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2019
11
5
Miami
In my case was working good on the iOS 13.3 betas but when I bought the iPhone 11 and had to install everything (iCloud backup etc) I started to notice the FaceTime/iMessage activation errors and the “REG-RESP?” SMS.

I think while you go from iOS 13.2 and transition to 13.3 everything works fine with Google Fi. But as soon as you have to restore or install a phone from scratch, will give you the activation errors.

I was on all the four 13.3 betas and was never solved.
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
I believe it is a re-activation issue. Re-activating with 13.3 seems to be the problem. There is no way to tell where the problem lies. All I know is that the random texts are A) from Google and B) have to do with iMessage (re-) registration. Same phone, same Apple account, has no issue with my Verizon SIM.

The lack of meaningful support from both Google and Apple on this issue is bothersome.
 
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jb310

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2017
10
9
Houston
Had the same issue; I switched from a Pixel 3 to an iPhone 11 Pro Max yesterday, and it kept giving me that weird text and refusing to activate iMessage.

I originally thought there was an issue with the new phone, so I tried moving my SIM card to an old iPhone 6S I had (also running iOS 13.3) and activating iMessage there, but it had the same problem. I don't know if Google just needs to update their service to work on 13.3 or what, but I guess I'm stuck using SMS for now. 😅
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
THANK YOU for confirming I am not crazy!!! iMessage on Fi was fine for three weeks .... until I updated to 13.3.

Since I have no problem activating iMessage on the same iPhone 11 Pro Max with the same iOS 13.3 .... but with my Verizon eSIM, I suspect it is a Fi problem.

The weird text messages from Google Fi during activation attempts seem unique to the Fi failure to activate. Neither Fi support or Apple support could even comprehend what I was talking about when I called. Seems that if the problem isn’t on their talking points scripts .... it can’t be so.

Anyone else having similar failure to activate iMessage on Fi after installing iOS 13.3??
 

Alex.Roams

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2018
11
98
Same issue here. Can’t activate FaceTime or iMessage with Google Fi. This happened to me after I exceeded 22GB on my last billing cycle and got throttled (understandable). But once my billing cycle reset, the throttle never lifted and Goggle Fi support suggested I get a new SIM card To solve the problem. So once I transferred my number over to the new SIM, I still had slow data and now couldn’t activate FaceTime or iMessage. Google and Apple support have been really useless and seem to have no internal documentation about what’s going on. So I think I might have to leave Google Fi even though I have been enjoying the service.
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
Same issue here. Can’t activate FaceTime or iMessage with Google Fi. This happened to me after I exceeded 22GB on my last billing cycle and got throttled (understandable). But once my billing cycle reset, the throttle never lifted and Goggle Fi support suggested I get a new SIM card To solve the problem. So once I transferred my number over to the new SIM, I still had slow data and now couldn’t activate FaceTime or iMessage. Google and Apple support have been really useless and seem to have no internal documentation about what’s going on. So I think I might have to leave Google Fi even though I have been enjoying the service.
I think you have two separate and different issues you are dealing with. Throttled data is one issue they should be able to help you with. iMessage and FaceTime activation should still work even while throttled. Are you getting the weird text messages from Fi when you try to activate?
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
Nothing as of yet that I am aware of. I have posted to several different forums as well. I try to re-activate iMessage every day or so, just to see if something has been “adjusted”. Fi support has truly been a waste of time. Same for Apple support. I am assuming this is because the majority of Fi/Apple users already have iMessage activated.... so it looks like we are a small minority for now. Since I have no problem with iMessage when using my Verizon SIM, it seems like the fix needs to come from Fi!!
 

Alex.Roams

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2018
11
98
I think you have two separate and different issues you are dealing with. Throttled data is one issue they should be able to help you with. iMessage and FaceTime activation should still work even while throttled. Are you getting the weird text messages from Fi when you try to activate?
Yes, I get those strange texts messages also. I am considering switching carriers then coming back when they resolve this. Are you also having issues with SMS forwarding on other devices?
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
This all started for me after upgrading to 13.3 and realizing that getting messages on other iOS devices was not working properly. As part of the troubleshooting process I deactivated iMessage. The rest, as they say, is history. At this point, the only issue I still have is not being able to enable iMessage.
 

Jacob Massengill

macrumors newbie
Dec 16, 2019
2
0
This all started for me after upgrading to 13.3 and realizing that getting messages on other iOS devices was not working properly. As part of the troubleshooting process I deactivated iMessage. The rest, as they say, is history. At this point, the only issue I still have is not being able to enable iMessage.
I was already on 13.3 when I switched to fi, so theoretically this could affect any new fi iPhone users. At this point I’ve tried apple and fi support, and Apple tells me that it’s an issue on Fi’s end but they don’t know any more than that. The person I talked to made it seem like it’s an issue that’s being worked on at least.
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
I hope somebody is working on something. Unfortunately I doubt Apple has even a small clue what Fi is or isn’t doing. The Apple support person I spoke with (they were in Canada) wasn’t even familiar with Fi as a carrier. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to.
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
Zero. Nothing that I have seen or heard. Both Apple and Google are still in the “this can’t be a problem with us” stage. Unfortunately it seems there are a relatively small number of folks actually complaining about the problem :-(
 

jb310

macrumors newbie
Aug 24, 2017
10
9
Houston
I was able to fix mine by downgrading to the previous version of iOS (13.2.3).

This wiped all my data, but I was able to restore most of my stuff from an old, pre-iOS 13.3 backup I made on my Mac. I activated iMessage and upgraded back to 13.3, and everything's been perfectly fine since.

That said, if you downgrade and don't have an old backup handy, you'll almost certainly lose all the data on your phone, except for whatever info you might have on iCloud (photos, contacts, etc).
 

Flyordie

macrumors newbie
Dec 17, 2019
2
2
@Charlieo +1 on that. I thought I’m crazy too...

Exact same issue here. Got a new phone. Migrated over. iMessage wouldn’t activate. Cryptic texts instead. Put the SIM back in my old phone. Activated immediately. Thought my backup was corrupted. Setup the new phone fresh - wouldn’t activate either. I was already close to selling the phone.

And same: Fi supported gave me some stupid sh*t about updating the Fi app and removing the SIM card. Apple had this whole story about disabling iMessage everwhere, restarting etc. and at the end just suggested that “it can take up to 24h” which is complete BS.

It’s also being discussed on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/GoogleFi/comments/eay46f
 
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Alex.Roams

macrumors newbie
Feb 28, 2018
11
98
Sadly, my solution was to leave the Google Fi service. They have no idea how to unthrottle data (so everyone be careful about going over), plus the iMessage activation bug, and no roadmap for new features. I went over to T-Mobile Magenta Plus. It’s similar I guess, even though I preferred Google Fi since I travel abroad a lot.
 

Joelcarlos

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2019
11
5
Miami
I just had my 3rd call with Apple support. And after supposedly being handle with an engineer team they returned to me saying “we don’t support Google Fi, if this worked in the past was by luck”. Very disappointing. It’s like they don’t want to even acknowledge there is a problem that started with 13.3.

I guess if you roll from 13.2 to 13.3 and you don’t restore your phone, you’ll be fine. But that’s not an option for me because my iCloud backup is already in 13.3.

Yesterday I installed the iOS 13.3.1 beta, but the bug is still persisting.
 

jon8

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2009
19
1
I had this exact issue for the past 5 days, and it FINALLY STARTED WORKING TODAY! It just started working, didn't have to do anything special. Something must have gotten fixed either by Google or Apple.
 
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Lumineux

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2006
13
0
I had this exact issue for the past 5 days, and it FINALLY STARTED WORKING TODAY! It just started working, didn't have to do anything special. Something must have gotten fixed either by Google or Apple.
I just verified on iOS 13.3.1 beta 1 that activation now works, but when I put my Fi SIM back into my main phone with iOS 13.2.3, it no longer activates. Looks like I need to upgrade it to 13.3.
 

Joelcarlos

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 2, 2019
11
5
Miami
Crazy. Same thing here. I didn’t do nothing. I’m on iOS 13.3 and an hour ago the activation was done alone. I was not even using the phone. Weird.
 

Charlieo

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2019
12
2
Praise the lord! It be fixed for sure!

I believe it was on Google's end! Registration error.