It’s been a frustrating week. Nance’s phone switch to Android looked like it had failed because she stopped receiving texts from other networks. We figured that it was either a bug in her phone or a bad port of the number. And then we discovered that in fact, it wasn’t ANY other-network phone that she was dropping texts from, it was ONLY iPhones. Huh.
Turns out Apple did something unbelievably evil. When you have an iPhone, your phone will now use iMessage instead of a real SMS to talk to other people if it thinks it can, even if you enter a number. The problem is when you get rid of your iPhone, you don’t *necessarily* get rid of the link from your phone number to iMessage. Net result: everyone who has an iPhone thinks they are texting you, but in fact the messages silently fail.
Once we figured this out, we called support; yes, they said, they could delete the number. 2 hours. No worries. Nope, 2 hours later, it was still broken. Called again. Did we say 2 hours, we meant 24. Nope. 36 hours later, the answer was give it more time.
Net result: this is Apple’s bad decision. By “breaking” SMS and moving it to their own protocol, the company added a tricky and largely undocumented step in getting moved to a new phone. Talk about lock in. What’s worse, it’s easy to blame the new carrier or phone, when in fact it is working perfectly. Crossing my fingers we’ll actually get this fixed one of these days.