Apple, Obstruction of Correspondence is a Crime
I’ve been using an iPhone for years. Once upon a time I admired Apple, but they seem to have changed. Apple’s business strategy seems to be make it incredibly painful for people to switch to Android by quietly obstructing message delivery.
In the past two weeks, I know I’ve missed two invitations to go biking with a group, and an invitation to go to a birthday party. In all cases the senders had assumed I’d gotten messages which had quietly gone nowhere.
Let me explain the problem.
Apple’s texting application iMessage will send messages over a different networks depending on if you are transmitting to another iPhone or something else. Apple phone to Apple phone, it sends over an internal apple network, Apple to something else, it sends over the SMS (Text Message) network.
Apple got sued years ago for not delivering messages via SMS to people that switched their phones from Apple to something else. It quietly ate the messages.
Apple fixed the bug so normal text messages are now delivered to the switchers. People on Apple phone can one to one SMS messages just fine.
But Apple left in another bug. And it has to be intentional because it would be so easy to fix.
iMessage has group messaging. You can combine group of phone numbers and send messages to the entire group. If everyone in the group is on an Apple phone, it uses the internal apple network. If one or more people is not on an Apple phone, it sends on the SMS network.
Now here is the problem: If you were once on an Apple phone and part of an all Apple group and you move to a non-Apple phone, when someone sends a message to that group, the Apple network will quietly eat the message intended for you. You won’t get the message, but everyone else will. The sender won’t get an error saying it couldn’t deliver it to you.
No message, no error, just missed communication.
Apple should either deliver the message via text OR it should show an error to the sender saying it couldn’t deliver it. Either would be fine with me. Doing neither is just wrong and seriously broken for a communication tool.
I’m having is a terrible experience. I’m getting calls all the time, “I think you aren’t getting my messages”. Yes, I’m not and there is nothing I can do about it.
Because the fix here is so easy and this bug has been going on for years and creates customer lock in for Apple, I can only believe this is intentional. While Android is getting more and more amazing, I find it sad that a company that was once so incredibly awesome is using this as a tactic.
Apple is this really your only defense?
P.S.: Some people have suggested the iMessage Deregister. Yes, I’ve tried it and no, it doesn’t help with group messaging.