Apple acknowledges iMessage issue that hijacks your number when switching to Android

imessage iphone

The Messages iOS app ties your phone number to your Apple ID, and ensures that people sending texts to your number arrive over iMessage, a free service, rather than SMSes through carriers, which is paid. This is great for all iPhone users, unless you happen to switch to an Android or Windows Phone.

Even after switching to a different platform, the Messages app on your friends’ iPhone continues to think that you still have an iPhone, and texts they send are delivered over iMessage, which means that you won’t see these texts on your Android phone. Moreover, the messages show up with a “Delivered” status on the sender’s iPhone, so they won’t even come to know that these messages aren’t going through.

Adam Pash, formerly of Lifehacker, had the same problem. He spoke to Apple tech support about this issue, and found that a lot of users are facing the same problem, but Apple doesn’t have a clear solution:

[Apple tech support] called me back, then explained

  1. This is a problem a lot of people 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 my boat.

One of the solutions to this problem is removing your iPhone from My Support Profile (instructions), but this hasn’t helped Pash solve the issue. Other solutions include resetting the Apple ID password, logging out of FaceTime and iMessage from all iOS devices, but these haven’t helped Pash either.

Apple is probably not doing this intentionally, but for a user, this acts like a lock-in, and makes it very difficult to switch from an iPhone, given that there’s no easy way to fix this issue or let people know that you’re no longer on iMessage.

Have you faced this problem, and if so, how did you fix it? Let us know in the comments.