iMessage Question

Discussion in 'iOS 5 and earlier' started by mattkowalski, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. mattkowalski macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #1
    Apologies if this has already been answered....

    Suppose the person I'm messaging (via their phone number) doesn't have a data connection (for example, they're on holiday with data roaming turned off). Will they get an SMS, or have an iMessage waiting when they return and re-establish their data connection?

    Cheers.
     
  2. TheNinjaJedi macrumors regular

    TheNinjaJedi

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    Jul 16, 2011
  3. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #3
    Which part has to fail for that to happen? The message travelling between my phone and Apple's servers, or the message travelling from Apple's servers to the recipient? Or either?
     
  4. blesio macrumors regular

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    Jun 9, 2011
    #4
    Well the answer is obvious, since iMessage depends on data transfer when there is a problem with that it'll use an SMS to send the text, it doesn't matter which part fails.
     
  5. mattkowalski, Oct 22, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

    mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #5
    Not as obvious as you would think.

    There are two data connections involved. The sender's and the recipient's. I'm interested in knowing specifically what happens when the sender has a data connection and the recipient does not. Will it resort to SMS, or will the recipient only get the message when they re-establish their data connection?
     
  6. jman240 macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2009
    #6
    You get delivery receipts when a message has been successfully delivered. If it doesn't get that or fails to communicated with Apple's server it will revert to sending as SMS provided you have that option enabled.

    You can see this happen if you leave messages open, there will be a red ! next to the message, tap that and hit try again or send as SMS.
     
  7. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    Ok perfect - thanks!
     
  8. gentlefury macrumors 68030

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    Jul 21, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #8
    iMessage is device specific. If you try to send to an iPhone it will automatically send as an iMessage. If you are sending to some other device it will automatically send as SMS...you can tell because SMS will be green bubbles and say text message in the dialogue, iMessage will be blue bubbles and say iMessage in the text box.

    I turned off the send as SMS if iMessage fails because sms is just too much of a rip off!
     
  9. meowr macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #9
    Doesn't necessarily work that way. (which is really stupid on Apple's part)

    My wife and I both have iphones, but do not turn on cellular data, only Wifi.
    Our phones have iMessage turned on, and "sends as SMS if iMessage fails" turned on as well.

    One afternoon, I needed to sms I needed to sms my wife, so I opened the message app, and the bubble was blue? (I have wifi at my office, but my wife doesn't). So I send an iMessage anyways, since I'm assuming that Apple's servers would automatically check to see if my wife's phone was "online", find that it isn't, and resend as an SMS.
    Instead, it just kept the message blue, though there was no delivery reciept.
    I called my wife up to confirm that she had no wifi, and when she sent me an sms as a test, my send bubble turned green.

    When my wife came home 4 HOURS LATER, and her iPhone connected to our home wifi, all the iMessages I sent her (about 5 of them) arrived simultaneously.

    I have found iMessage to be VERY UNRELIABLE in its ability to figure out if the recipient is online or not. So now I just send the blue iMessage, have it send, and then tap on the iMessage to have it "resend as sms" just in case.

    (FYI, I'm in the Philippines, where cellular data is charged by time increments, 15 or 30 minutes, not data usage. So keeping cellular data on is not an option, unless I subscribe to an unlimited data plan)
     
  10. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #10
    That's what I was afraid of. Messages being hoarded for the next time the recipient gets a data connection (when they have phone reception otherwise). It suddenly becomes less ubiquitous if you have to hang around each time you send a message and wait for "Delivered" to be displayed.
     
  11. blesio macrumors regular

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    Jun 9, 2011
    #11
    Well... It is obvious.... Since (as I said before) iMessages is a data related service failing any one of the two fore mentioned connections will result in sending an SMS. Please keep in mind that the communication is both ways so your terminal (iPhone, iPad, iPod, whatever) knows that the recipient isn't available or the apple service is down, in any case it will revert to an SMS message. As I said, common sense and it's all obvious. Did you really think that if apple servers couldn't communicate to the recipient the message would be put on hold? And wait for the recipient to get available? For what wait period, day, week, month? As I said before, common sense, just that.
     
  12. BUFFBOY macrumors regular

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    Aug 23, 2010
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    Sydney
    #12
    I had this same problem.

    lets hope iOS5.1 has some fixes
     
  13. Alonzo84 macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

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    #13
    If there is no data connection then there is no message, SMS or otherwise. SMS is provided by the cell phone carrier while iMessage is provided by Apple. If cellular data is turned off then SMS messages are not an option. iMessage works with either WiFi or a cellular data connection, ie 3G. If you don't have either one then no messages will be received until you do. Once you've established a data connection then all previously sent messages will be received at the same time.
     
  14. OutGolfn macrumors regular

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    Aug 8, 2010
    #14
    Also for Verizon and Sprint iphone users, if they are talking on the phone and someone imessage's them guess what? It will come through as a green text message. I assume this is because no simultaneous data/voice on cdma networks.
     
  15. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #15
    I thank you for your friendly and helpful tone, but putting that to one side for a moment... as you can see from some of the other responses on this thread (meowr and BUFFBOY), it seems that that's exactly the behaviour that can occur.

    I'm not sure that that's entirely accurate. If you disable the data connection in the settings, you can still send and receive SMS messages.
     
  16. Alonzo84 macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

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    #16
    That's becuase SMS messages are seperate from data usage. Turning off cellular data from your phone means that you can't access the internet over 3G, only WiFi. That feature is for those who don't have unlimited data plans and don't want to pay a ton of money by accidentally going over their limit.
    My response was made under the assumption that you were referring to a recipient with no 3G connection, as in a no service area.
     
  17. meowr macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2011
    #17
    The problem is that it IS "obvious" as to what iMessage SHOULD be doing.
    And it IS "common sense".
    Problem is that iMessage is NOT working in any "common sense" or "obvious" way.

    My iMessage send button to my wife is always blue if I'm online, regardless of whether my wife is online or isn't. The "obvious" and "common sense" thing Apple should be doing, is poll their servers to see if my wife's phone is online, and change my send button to blue or green accordingly. But it doesn't.

    "Common sense" dictates that if I send the blue iMessage to my offline wife, and Apple's servers can't find her phone, my phone "obviously" should be told fairly quickly (within a second or two) the situation, so that an SMS could be sent. But it doesn't.

    I've had occasions where my iMessages to my wife were NOT converted to SMS, and were stuck in limbo for hours until my wife got online again.

    "Obviously" Apple has some bug fixing to do because, iMessage is unreliable for people who are not always online.
     
  18. Alonzo84 macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

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    North Carolina
    #18
    What excatly do you mean when you say your wife's phone is "offline"? If she doesn't have a signal (3G, EDGE) she can't receive SMS text messages. If she doesn't have WiFi either, she can't receive iMessages. As long as your wife's phone has some sort of signal (3G, EDGE, or WiFi) she will receive iMessages. If she has no signal whatsoever, she won't receive anything until she does. This isn't a bug, it's just how cellular devices work.
     
  19. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #19
    I assume meowr means in the sense of not having an iMessage-capable data connection, BUT having SMS-capable phone reception otherwise.

    I agree - you should only be able to send an iMessage if both parties are online, not just the sender. That would be the common sense approach. Or at least have an "only allow people to send me iMessages when I'm online" option.
     
  20. Alonzo84 macrumors 6502a

    Alonzo84

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    North Carolina
    #20
    Are you saying that iMessage relies on an actual data connection and not just cell service? If that is the case, I was unaware of this. If this is true then the issue makes more sense to me, and I apologize for misunderstanding.
    Just so I'm completely clear: iMessage relies on an actual data connection and when that is unavailable (either because cell data is disabled or because there is no WiFi connection) the messages are not being sent as SMS texts (assuming there is a cell signal) as they should be per the "send as SMS when iMessage is unavailable" setting. Is this correct?
    Now that I think about it, when I updated my wife's phone I used it to send myself a test iMessage but forgot that I had disabled iMessage on my phone. I never received an SMS text but received an iMessage after I enabled the option. Again, I apologize for misunderstanding the issue.
     
  21. jtp098 macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2010
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    Purchase
    #21
    I got the same offline message messaging a friend. i imagine it is a data connection since it works on wifi for the iPad and iPod. I do hope they fix it later and add in the sms capability. But they will have to make it multi ended... cause some people don't have unlimited testing believe it or not... So sending tons of iMessages that get converted to sms will not be good for a receive with no unlimited sms.
     
  22. admanimal macrumors 68040

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    Apr 22, 2005
    #22
    Here is another relevant experience:

    I have iOS 5 on my iPhone. Last week, I attempted to install iOS 5 on a friend's iPhone. I was able to install it (and therefore activate iMessage for their number) but kept having issues restoring from their backup, so I had to revert the phone to iOS 4. At this point, any message I tried to send it would default to iMessage, and would never get to the device (since it only had iOS 4) unless I specifically re-sent it as a text. These iMessages were never automatically sent as texts as one would hope.

    I have also seen posts in Apple's support forums where people had an iPhone with iOS 5 but then switched to another non-Apple device for whatever reason and then were no longer able to receive texts from anyone with iOS 5, since they all defaulted to iMessages.

    Either of these problems is avoidable if you specifically turn off iMessage before you lose the ability to iMessage, but this doesn't seem like the way it should work.
     
  23. Stino macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2009
    #23
    Any news/workaround on this? I have exactly the same situation: my wife doesn't have a data connection, only wifi. So iMessages do arrive when she is at home but as soon as she leaves and I send her an iMessage it won't arrive until she gets wifi somewhere. Shouldn't it be automagically be resent via SMS after a time out of a minute or so?
     
  24. mattkowalski thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 3, 2010
    #24
    I hope it's something that Apple revisit in an update, but for the time being at least, I've disabled it entirely because of the reasons/limitations outlined in this thread by various people.
     
  25. Stino macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2009
    #25
    Same here, too bad though! Thanks for the info!
     

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