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Apple Bug Deletes Text Messages Sent to Android Converts

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Ever wonder why you're not receiving text messages after switching to Android? It's not the phone's fault. It's Apple's.

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There's a reason why Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) users are a technologically insular bunch: Cupertino wants it that way. Between conferencing on FaceTime to sending texts via iMessage, Apple ensures that its users play nicely with one another, mostly by excluding those in the Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) fold. Whereas the majority of Google services are available on both Android and iOS platforms -- much to iPhone users' preference -- there's no Apple-sanctioned way to run apps such as Safari, FaceTime, Siri, or iMessage on Android devices.

And God help you if you switch to one after owning an iPhone.

Many Android converts have found that they haven't been receiving text messages sent by iMessage since excommunicating themselves from the iPhone flock. Although senders will see that a message has been successfully delivered, the text is either significantly delayed or -- more often than not -- lost completely, effectively tarnishing the luster of that brand-new Android device. (However, iMessage is notorious for having its own share of glitches.)

But while some would be quick to assume that it's all the fault of the Android device or the platform, a recent blog post by former Lifehacker Editor-in-Chief Adam Pash reveals that a bug in iMessage is the culprit and Apple has no idea how to fix it.

At least, that's what the company alleges.

Entitled "iMessage Purgatory," Pash's post details the rigmarole he had to endure in trying to get his phone number disassociated with iMessage. But even after removing his number from his Apple ID, the problem persisted, and Pash was forced to work with Apple Support using someone else's iPhone since it would cost $20 for anyone without an active support plan.

"After 10 minutes walking through various steps I'd already taken and others that were completely impractical," Pash writes, "(Apple Support: "Can you try deleting the contact from your new iPhone and re-adding it?" Me: "I can't tell everyone I know to delete and re-add me as a contact."), my tech support person told me that I was breaking up and that she needed to call me back."

During the callback, the Apple rep admitted to Pash the following:

  1. This is a problem a lot of Android converts are facing.
  2. The engineering team is working on it but is apparently clueless as to how to fix it.
  3. There are no reliable solutions right now -- for some people, the standard fixes work immediately; many others are in Pash's boat.
Blaming Apple for essentially "hijacking" his text messages, Pash believes this widespread problem will remain until Apple solves -- or chooses to solve -- the issue. But in the meantime, anything that leaves Android users in the lurch, especially ones who used to be iPhone users, probably isn't high on Apple's priority list to address.

"No one can fix this but Apple because it's a problem at the device level, which means people in my position have no recourse but to wait for Apple to figure out what the problem is," Pash writes. "But Apple isn't offering any public support on the issue that I've been able to find (and it's worth repeating that proper support is behind a $20 paywall for most people who've switched devices, who would also be the most commonly affected by this problem)."

But considering the fact that iPhone users are happy and remain unaffected by the bug -- all to the detriment of Android users -- as Steve Jobs might say, "That's not a bug. That's a feature."

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