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Apple 'clueless' about how to fix vanishing iMessages

updated 10:40 am EDT, Wed May 14, 2014

Problem persisting despite long-standing complaints

Apple has acknowledged but is "clueless" about how to fix a problem with iMessages being sent to Apple IDs that are no longer in use, according to ex-Lifehacker editor Adam Pash. Pash recently switched from an iPhone to an Android device, but discovered that his phone number was still linked to the iMessage system, meaning that anyone sending him a text via an iPhone would have that message automatically forwarded to his old Apple ID. iOS' Messages app would claim the texts were delivered, but in reality he never received them.

In a recent technical support call, an AppleCare representative told Pash that while a lot of people are experiencing the problem and engineers are trying to fix it, they have no idea how. A number of stopgap solutions -- such as having iPhone users delete and re-add contacts -- may work, but none of these options are said to be reliable.

The issue has actually been ongoing since SMS and Apple ID chat were unified for iOS via Messages, but Apple has typically remained silent on the topic. Solving the glitch could involve rearchitecting iMessage or even the Apple ID framework.

by MacNN Staff





  1. mohog

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-19-02

    The person on the iPhone must delete the conversation with the person who switched to android. then create a new message to the phone number. It should then send as an ams message rather than iMessage.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I, for one, would love to see Apple restructure the Apple ID framework. The fact that an Apple ID is separate from a similarly named iTunes' Apple ID, as well as not being able to use Apple ID email addresses w/ the same address (e.g. Apple ID "" cannot have assoc email address as "") has been a cluster. Much discussion about this on forums for the last couple of years:

    It is a mountain of an issue for Apple to change considering millions of the current IDs, but this is the result of poor planning in the beginning since the .Mac & MobileMe transition days, IMHO.

  1. sribe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-14-03

    Thing is, iMessage doesn't even work reliably when both users are still on iPhones on the original accounts.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    Let me just change that headline: "Apple clueless about how to fix iMessage" - there, much better.

    It's been a mess from the start. Messages failing to appear on some or all of my devices, messages sorted completely out of order (wasn't there a ML fix that was supposed to correct just that?), it's been a completely unreliable heap of crap from the get-go. iMessage looks great on paper, but in reality, it's just not working.

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    I guess Apple figured nobody would switch to Android after using an iPhone - they were only 90% right.

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