Text Messages I’ve Missed Since Switching Away From iPhone

On a snowy January evening in 2013 I swiftly walked to the door of a convenient store on my way to meet my wife for dinner. I was running late and attempted to text her. Imagining her disappointment I hastily drew my smartphone from my front pocket and… dropped it. My phone hit the tile floor and exploded. The back cover flew off, and the battery and memory card (and maybe some parts I never found) scattered out.

I was relieved and a little surprised the screen didn’t crack since I had no protective cover. I put it all back together but the phone would not turn on. I later came to realize that the phone worked fine other than the power button no longer turned the phone on or woke it up. The power button is a key feature of a smartphone that you don’t think about until it’s taken away.  🙁

I had a few months to go before I could upgrade my phone (at a subsidized price). I was waiting for the Samsung Galaxy S4 to come out around May anyway. Luckily I still had my wife’s old iPhone 4 which I was using to test iPhone apps. That’s how I became an iPhone user for four months in between Android phones.

When my Samsung Galaxy S4 arrived in May I again became an Android user. However, something very strange happened. Some of my text messages started appearing on my iPad instead of my new Android phone. I even received a few text messages on my Macbook Pro.

I called Verizon expecting there was some simple fix for this problem. They gave me an Apple support number. When I called this number, the rep said the problem was with iMessage and I had two options to resolve it. I could have everyone with an iPhone who had me as a contact delete me and add me again or I could make sure I signed out of iTunes on all apple devices for a few months. I was in disbelief that this was considered an acceptable solution as if it was no bother. The woman on the phone seemed eager to end the call and I got the sense that my complaining was not going to get me anywhere. Still stunned I just said thank you, and goodbye.

I have an iPad and a MacBook Pro that I use regularly. My kids often borrow my iPad to read or play games. I develop iOS apps and have many test devices that I use frequently. It is very inconvenient and unlikely to remember to log out of iTunes any time I install an app, download music, send a iTunes gift card (you can do that on your iPhone/iPad by the way), etc on any of these devices. Therefore, this problem has persisted. It last happened a week ago (about a year since I switched away from the iPhone). That was when I noticed a text message from my wife on my iPad’s lock screen.

I’ve usually remembered to log out of iTunes so I’ve only occasionally found a few misdirected text messages from a few people. However, one of these people is my wife and her messages are extremely important even when they are not.

I have become accustomed to occasional phantom text messages to the point where I’ve just accepted them. I figured I was the only one experiencing this problem. I seem to have a knack for getting myself into quirky technology problems such as smartphones with broken power buttons.

Then one Friday night I was perusing the latest Tech news (as one does on a Friday night) and I came across the headline “Apple Has Been Sued Because iPhones Often Don’t Deliver Text Messages To Android Users” which linked to “An Apple Employee Admits That iPhones Often Won’t Deliver Texts If You Switch To Android” and “Apple Has Been Sued Because iPhones Often Don’t Deliver Text Messages To Android Users“. It turns out I am not alone!

After reading these articles, I remembered the Apple support person’s helpful suggestion of deleting and re-adding my contact info from all iPhone users who text me. I may not be able to do this in all cases but I could from one extremely important iPhone. I grabbed my wife’s iPhone and deleted me (it hurt but I did what had to be done). I didn’t like the photo she had of me anyway, it looked like a mugshot. I took a new photo where I am looking up and off to the side thoughtfully with my hand at my chin as if wondering if her text message will reach me or not.  😉