iMessage does not revert to SMS when failing

Donka

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
Okay, so iMessage is great when it works but if for example I send a message to a friend and they are on iMessage but say they don't have a good data connection where they are, the iMessage will fail and it will show a red exclamation mark next to the message that failed. The problem I have is that you won't know if it has failed unless you are in that thread and see the warning. I could go a couple of hours after sending a message and then go into that thread and noticed it never went.
I have set up up iMessage to send via SMS when iMessage is unavailable but it never does! Does anyone else have this issue?
The automatic SMS fall back option is not working for me but lack of a decent failure notification is a real problem too. If this would show up in the top bar then at least I would more likely notice it.
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
Are you sending to a phone number or email address? The send-as-SMS option only works with the former.
I'm sending to the person, if they are enabled on iMessage then the send button turns blue automatically, I don't need to do anything on my end.
It will work for the person sometimes but other times it fails and says it can't be delivered. I can then tap the red exclamation mark and select retry and it may go the second time or it may fail again. If I select exclamation mark and hit send as SMS then it works fine. This shows it is using the person's mobile number.
 

JerseyDoug

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2012
261
14
I'm sending to the person, if they are enabled on iMessage then the send button turns blue automatically, I don't need to do anything on my end.
It will work for the person sometimes but other times it fails and says it can't be delivered. I can then tap the red exclamation mark and select retry and it may go the second time or it may fail again. If I select exclamation mark and hit send as SMS then it works fine. This shows it is using the person's mobile number.
Yes, when you hit send as SMS you are using the person's number. But, how about the failed attempts?
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
Yes, when you hit send as SMS you are using the person's number. But, how about the failed attempts?
Okay, so you are figuring the recipient only has an email address associated with iMessage therefore when it is successful, it is because they have a data connection and when it fails they don't? I'll check with them but that would at least explain it.
That also means iMessage is a broken service because surely it should be smart enough to resort to the recipient's mobile number if you have one listed for them?
 

sulpfiction

macrumors 68040
Aug 16, 2011
3,058
573
Philadelphia Area
Okay, so you are figuring the recipient only has an email address associated with iMessage therefore when it is successful, it is because they have a data connection and when it fails they don't? I'll check with them but that would at least explain it.
That also means iMessage is a broken service because surely it should be smart enough to resort to the recipient's mobile number if you have one listed for them?
No necessarily broken at all. you are telling it where to send the message. It's either set up as an email, or a phone #. How could imessage figure out what phone number to send to if the email addy fails. Especially since you could have multiple "mobile" numbers set up in contacts.
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
No necessarily broken at all. you are telling it where to send the message. It's either set up as an email, or a phone #. How could imessage figure out what phone number to send to if the email addy fails. Especially since you could have multiple "mobile" numbers set up in contacts.
I hear what you are saying but I am telling it who to send it to with no further action on my part. It uses iMessage because the recipient is also set up on iMessage but I have no control over their set up. They only have an email & a mobile number listed under Contacts. Surely iMessage must be able to resend the message using SMS and the mobile number listed for that person if it initially fails using the iMessage service?
 

Pracht

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2010
53
0
I hear what you are saying but I am telling it who to send it to with no further action on my part. It uses iMessage because the recipient is also set up on iMessage but I have no control over their set up. They only have an email & a mobile number listed under Contacts. Surely iMessage must be able to resend the message using SMS and the mobile number listed for that person if it initially fails using the iMessage service?
It depends on what device they are on. If it's sending to their email address set up on an iPod Touch or IPad, it will not attempt to send as SMS.

Even if it is an iPhone, I bet you it wouldn't drop back to SMS if it is part of a thread started on a different device to their email.
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
I'm still at a loss. My mate only has an iPhone and no other IOS devices and this issue happens even when I initiate a new conversation.
I have logged it with Apple feedback anyway so will see if anything comes of it. Very frustrating.
 

Pracht

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2010
53
0
I'm still at a loss. My mate only has an iPhone and no other IOS devices and this issue happens even when I initiate a new conversation.
I have logged it with Apple feedback anyway so will see if anything comes of it. Very frustrating.
Go to the top of the conversation, and hit "Contact >". What is highlighted in baby blue?

If it is the phone number, it should drop back to SMS when it can.

However, if it is the email address, it appears (I am not certain though) that it does not.

I guess :)o) that if you're sending to an email address, iMessage will ignore everything else, perhaps to avoid a synchronization issue in the event that the person does have an iPad also and the conversation synced to both. Obviously the iPad wouldn't get the SMSs
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
Original poster
May 3, 2011
2,779
1,399
Scotland
Go to the top of the conversation, and hit "Contact >". What is highlighted in baby blue?

If it is the phone number, it should drop back to SMS when it can.

However, if it is the email address, it appears (I am not certain though) that it does not.

I guess :)o) that if you're sending to an email address, iMessage will ignore everything else, perhaps to avoid a synchronization issue in the event that the person does have an iPad also and the conversation synced to both. Obviously the iPad wouldn't get the SMSs
Thanks, I'll give this a try on the next conversation - I have deleted the last one. Incidentally, I sent a message to my other half yesterday afternoon while I was in a meeting. I checked my iPhone after work and it said it had not been delivered. I hit resend and then I met her and she said I sent the message twice - once at 3.30pm when the original message said it had failed and then after 5pm when I resent it. Definitely an issue there.
 

SteveDSL

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2019
2
0
OX10 7BG
Thanks, I'll give this a try on the next conversation - I have deleted the last one. Incidentally, I sent a message to my other half yesterday afternoon while I was in a meeting. I checked my iPhone after work and it said it had not been delivered. I hit resend and then I met her and she said I sent the message twice - once at 3.30pm when the original message said it had failed and then after 5pm when I resent it. Definitely an issue there.
[doublepost=1559781092][/doublepost]Yes I agree with Donka, that happens to me sometimes to. The earlier mention of email and phone number confusion is a red herring - that confusion can occur but it is not what is happening here. It looks to me that the problem probably lies with Apple/iMessage. So can someone from Apple comment perhaps? Go right back to the top of this thread - the switch between iMessage and SMS does not happen properly. In my case I am on PAYG and don’t use my iPhone for data except through WiFi so I have data turned off. When I message my wife when I have a WiFi connection it goes as an iMessage, great. When I am not WiFi connected I feel the iMessage software should know to send by SMS. I have checked the settings, and I’m careful not to send emojis etc. If I notice the message has failed to send I can tell it to go by SMS but often (usually?) it still says the message has still failed. But the phone signal is strong. When I get home, my phone connects to my WiFi and I can hear my wife’s phone receiving the message. Sometimes she has already received it, sometimes not. So it seems the software is not doing it’s job, it is not sorting out messages between the networks properly. Will Apple be fixing this soon does anyone know?
 

Lyn2012

macrumors 6502a
Dec 26, 2007
623
230
I for one would be very unhappy if my supposed iMessage was sent as SMS without asking me first. Often I’m specifically sending iMessages for a reason, to another country for example, and it could work out expensive if my phone decided to send SMS instead just because in that moment the recipient had a bad data connection.
 

SteveDSL

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2019
2
0
OX10 7BG
I for one would be very unhappy if my supposed iMessage was sent as SMS without asking me first. Often I’m specifically sending iMessages for a reason, to another country for example, and it could work out expensive if my phone decided to send SMS instead just because in that moment the recipient had a bad data connection.
Yes Lyn2012, of course if that is how you set up your iMessage. The premise for this thread, though, is that Donka’s iMessage IS set to auto fallback to send buy SMS, as is mine, and this option that we have selected is not doing what it says on the tin.
[doublepost=1559856492][/doublepost]Typo there confuses , sorry. Should read “... Donka’s iMessage IS set to send by SMS...”. (As it happens we do choose to buy SMS when iMessage is not available of course.)
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.