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Apple’s iMessage problem is worse than we thought

Updated May 22nd, 2014 9:59AM EDT
Apple iMessage Android Bug

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Apple has a lot of very unhappy former iPhone users on its hands and it doesn’t look like the problem is getting fixed anytime soon. For those of you who haven’t heard, there’s a major bug in Apple’s iMessage software that will prevent you from receiving text messages from other iPhone users if you’ve switched to a phone that runs on a rival operating system. The problem arises when people switch from the iPhone to Android or Windows Phone without changing their phone number — apparently, Apple keeps that number in its data base and still has it marked as belonging to an iPhone user. This means that any text messages sent through iPhones to that number get stuck in Apple’s cloud and aren’t pushed out to smartphones that run on a different OS.

UPDATE: Apple is preparing to release iOS 7.1.2, likely to this bug and one other major issue.

Now Re/code reports that “a recent server glitch made the problem worse, rendering moot one of Apple’s key methods for trying to remedy the issue.” Apple tells Re/code that it recently fixed this server glitch, although that’s apparently not enough to completely fix the iMessage problem. Because of this the company plans “an additional bug fix in a future software update” in the future, although it won’t say when this new update will be available or whether it will be part of the soon-to-be-announced iOS 8.

If you’re an iPhone user who’s planning on buying an Android phone or Windows Phone soon, be sure to check out these tips for avoiding getting your friends’ text messages stuck on Apple’s servers.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.