Android

How to keep receiving SMS from iPhone users after making the switch to Android

If you port your existing number from iPhone to Android, you have to take a couple of extra steps to be able to receive texts from iPhone users. Jack Wallen explains what to do.

 

iPhone to Android SMS
 

If you’ve ported your existing number from iPhone to Android (and why shouldn’t you?), you may have noticed that you aren't receiving texts from iPhone users. This happens because, not surprisingly, Apple uses a proprietary technology for SMS called iMessage. When an iPhone sends a text as an iMessage (which all new iPhones do, by default), it goes through the Apple servers and then on to other devices. 

iPhone to iPhone isn’t a problem, but when an iPhone attempts to send an iMessage to a non-iOS device, the text doesn’t make it. The originating device is still set up to send to you as iMessage. Also, if you've switched platforms and phone numbers, this will not be an issue, because your messages are not being sent through the Apple iMessage servers.

Of course, you could contact every person texting you with an iPhone and tell them to turn off iMessage from Settings | Messages | iMessage. Naturally, you don’t want to have to force the needs of one upon the needs of many. So, how do you get around this?

I spent an evening attempting to solve this puzzle. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t readily give out this information. After three different calls to Apple support, I received three different solutions to the problem. Eventually, it was a combination of two solutions that resolved the issue permanently. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Reset your Apple ID password and do not log back in on your device(s)
  • Send a text to 48369 with the word STOP

It won’t happen immediately but over a 12-hour period, you should start receiving texts on your Android device that are sent from iPhone users.

In a world so interconnected, it surprises me (though it shouldn’t) that Apple uses a proprietary technology incapable of cross-platform communication. Thankfully, there’s always a fix for the problems that ail you.

Have you noticed other problems when making the switch from iPhone to Android? Share your difficulties in the discussion thread below.

 

 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

25 comments
Kilometers Dutch
Kilometers Dutch

So they are helping them avoid text charges by pushing them over there data limits instead.

I know that one message on imesssge is not that much but hundreds or thousands of them a month add up.

It really seems like they ruled that feature out after most mobile providers did away with unlimited data and implemented unlimited SMS and MMS plans

brme
brme

Anyone tried using SMS over google hangouts with better success ?

Heidicat
Heidicat

I have an iphone and an iPad. Previously I could send messages from the iPad to friends and family that have iPhones but not iMessage. Since I downloaded iMessage to send messages on Facebook I can no longer message from the iPad unless they have iMessage. I am no way a tech geek so ultimately I'm lost. I looked under message in settings and can turn if iMessage however when I go to messages it says I have to log on under my Apple ID. Anybody that can help or explain why this changed I would love it. Thanks

gary.frazier78
gary.frazier78

I stumbled across this article in search of the ports for iMessage and SMS after setting up firewalls for work.


The article seems pretty bias - "If you’ve ported your existing number from iPhone to Android (and why shouldn’t you?"

However, I do understand the frustration of not understanding the difference between iMessage and SMS and it not working properly.


You stated:  "In a world so interconnected, it surprises me (though it shouldn’t) that Apple uses a proprietary technology incapable of cross-platform communication."

iMessage uses IP as a means for texting, which is not in any way proprietary.  IP (internet protocol), is the reason why the internet exists to begin with.  SMS requires a voice connection, while iMessage can be sent when connected via WiFi.  When sending texts to other iPhone users with an Apple ID, (if enabled and connected to WiFi) it will send the information over WiFi as an iMessage.  If you are sending texts to anyone else (iPhone to Non-iPhone), it will send SMS.  I have noticed that (for iPhone users) you sometimes have to "force" the message to send as SMS when there is no WiFi connection available or simply turn off iMessage - even better, if you have no WiFi connection available at the time, simply turn off WiFi. 


The iPhone will always attempt to send a message via iMessage whenever there is a WiFi connection or if the WiFi is turned on and searching for a connection.    In addition, with the data plans, even if WiFi is turned off or there is no WiFi connection, it uses the LTE or G4 data connections to send texts over IP (iMessages)... So I do see your argument.  I do agree that Apple should devise a way to have the phone "know" at any given time when it should send an iMessage or SMS.

But in their defense, which I clearly don't have to do (for one, I am no employee), although iMessage is an Apple service, it is most definitely not a proprietary technology.  This way of texting, I find very innovative because it opens up a broader range in which texts can be sent.  It will not be long until other carriers use this way of texting, which will make texting seemless in areas where there is no carrier service, but WiFi; or no WiFi, but carrier service; or both is present.  This also allows for mobile devices to communicate with laptops, desktops, and any other device that can be connected to the internet.  It leads the way to true data convergence.

jettilton
jettilton

Thanks...changed my appleid password (but still need for my imac and ipad....)...now am getting messages on my Android device


Jet

Jacquei3
Jacquei3

I have an issue that is related to the lost messaging from Apple to Android but not anything I have seen posted. Recently a friend switched from an iPhone to an Android and the text messages I sent did not go to him. Instead they went to his ex-wife's phone (or iPad)! How was that possible? I have since turned off I messaging on my phone and this has allowed my messages to go through to his Android.

MeganMc
MeganMc

My understanding is that if you have iMessage activated, you will not receive text messages to your android from iPhones. 

This has to be deleted from the Apple servers.

I called apple and asked them to delete my iMessage acccount. 

The tech told me it could take up to 48 hours to take effect. 

The number is 1-800-my- apple.

You will need your apple ID and phone number.


MariaSim
MariaSim

Texting 48369 does not work. Can you help me with that?

johnny.barbaro.jb
johnny.barbaro.jb

Thanks Jack for info told my friends how to text me problem about my apple I'd is I don't have my iphone

FredVader
FredVader

Just ran into this issue with switching my wife over from an Verizon iPhone to Android on T-Mobile.  In order to get around it I ended up creating a Google Voice account for my wife and set it up so that all texts sent to the Google Voice account are forwarded to her regular phone number.  

According to Apple Support the just released iOS 7.1.1 update should fix this whole iMessage debacle but just in case it doesn't the Google Voice workaround is a sure fire fix!

classall
classall

Ive had this problem for weeks, i finally switched back to iPhone because after weeks of tapering with it, I couldnt get any messages.

AndroidLove92
AndroidLove92

It says reset your Apple ID. Am i just supposed to change the password or change the ID to another email altogether? And when it says "Dont sign back into your devices", how long am I supposed to be signed out for?

galaxyuser
galaxyuser

I texted STOP to 48369 and it seems to worked.  Thanks!

Does anyone know if you can get back messages for the past week etc that go lost as a result of this issue??

thanks

bfarraye
bfarraye

I have done it all and am at my wit's end..........


I switched from the iPhone 4s to the Galaxy S5. Like most users, I am NOT getting any texts from iPhone users whatsoever. I have tried every trick that the internet has to offer and still no avail. I've texted STOP, I had Apple remove my number from the iMessage system, I had friends check to see that "send as SMS" was turned on, I had friends change my contact to a regular mobile number instead of an iPhone.


I am really, REALLY pissed off at this entire situation. Most of my contacts are iPhone users but I needed something with more customization. However, I can't deal with not getting texts. As a professional who is active on their phone, it is imprerritave that I have access to texts from all users.



Does anyone have any other suggestions that might fix the situation?????



thanks.
dmarcus48
dmarcus48

Ok just had the long version of this get wiped so here's the short version. Settings,messages, make sure "send as SMS" is checked (on the senders phone). It may also be necessary the remove the on the receivers phone, the phone number from settings, messages, send & receive. Not sure about the second part. I had an iPhone went to a s3 had no problems. My wife went from an iPhone to a S4 and had problems, this (first part) fixed the issue, hope it helps someone else.

kent08
kent08

This is kind of what happened to me recently...presently I cannot receive iMessaging texts from an iPhone that is using only iMessaging (I'm assuming) in their settings, so l while my iPhone sister-in-law can receive my android messages I cannot receive her replies which return to her as "undelivered".  Three other iPhone users in the family have no problem either way with MMS/SMS messaging ennabled. ( Note that I had been using an iPhone but switched to an android phone on the same number.)  I've been told that my sister-in-law (in this case) needs to ennable SMS messaging in her settings and delete any message threads in her phone that originated from my old iPhone.  Obviously, even if this works, I am in the position Jack referred to in having to do this iPhone by iPhone!!  And I naively believed the transition from iPhone to android would be seamless.  I also had an Apple technician de-link (if that's even the word) my old iPhone from their system.


I got so worked up about this that on the Apple community site where many people relate this problem I did criticize Apple while trying to tell people what my problem was.  I also offered suggestions that I had learned about in talking to a variety of people at ATT and Apple. (Before that point my iPhone 3GS  had been deregistered by me.)  Well, I got thrown off the site.  Very disappointing!


I followed your suggestion Jack, by changing my Apple ID password and by sending the STOP message from my android phone.  It remains to be seen if this will help.  The response to the STOP message, if you are interested....


"APPLE iCLOUD ID VERIFICATION; YOU HAVE BEEN UNSUBSCRIBED AND WILL NO LONGER RECEIVE MESSAGES 1-800-275-2273"


While this may be a well documented problem as geegn1 suggests, it is new to me.  Neither Apple or ATT forewarned me that this "well documented" event could or would occur when I switched phones.  To that extent both Apple and ATT do me as an end user a disservice.  


Thanks for listening....

geegn1
geegn1

maj37 & aestrada58, you n00b clowns,

this article is not about not receiving imessages. if you had read the first sentence, you would know it's about not receiving text messages of any kind, from anyone with an iphone. this is a well documented problem with extensive forum history dating back to 2011. google, "not receiving texts after switching to iphone." maj37, your admission, "I am also surprised it was that hard to get it to stop, my iPhone sends things as a normal SMS message anytime there is a problem delivering via iMessage," is the exact problem described by mr. wallen, above. for those of us with this problem, our contacts' iphones sending us imessages DO NOT default back to sending regular SMS messages and so we never get the messages they send.

i for one will forever be grateful for this solution, years and many lost messages late, but better late than never. i have probably read every post on this issue on the internet and talked to every possible customer service department from apple, my phone manufacturer and my service provider without progress. wallen, you should post this in the windows forums as well. they've got the same disaster.

aestrada58
aestrada58

Maj37 is right. When the receiving iOS unit (since iPads can also send & receive iMessages) does not have data coverage, the delivery defaults to SMS.

maj37
maj37

Jack it sounds like you didn't really understand iMessage before you made this switch. It is a well known fact that iMessage goes through Aples servers so that you don't use your carrier SMS messaging in case you have a limited plan.  I guess though I should give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you wanted to make sure your readers knew it how iMessage works. 

Me I dislike almost everything Apple does but in this case you are blaming them for helping their users avoid messaging charges.  I know, I know that isn't the real reason they did it but still it does do that. 

I am also surprised it was that hard to get it to stop, my iPhone sends things as a normal SMS message anytime there is a problem deliverying via iMessage.

All that being said, thanks for the info on how to fix this if I ever get in that situation, though I suspect I will forget you told us this and just do a Web search on how to do it and find the same info.

gary.frazier78
gary.frazier78

Think about it: iMessage is nothing short of how AOL Chat, Yahoo, or any other chat program communicates; those programs use IP for transferring text information as well - nothing proprietary about it.

AndroidLove92
AndroidLove92

I have both a Macbook Pro and an iPad which I use iMessage on and many other services which require me to be signed into my apple account. So I am still wondering how long I am supposed to stay signed out of my apple devices for. Do i just sign back in after my phone starts receiving messages?

Maria4u
Maria4u

@bfarraye  I am in exactly the same situation as of yesterday. I am totally gutted. The Samsung S5 was forced upon me, and to be fair isn't a bad phone. But I've spent a lot of money on a Mac, Ipad and iPod, and frankly why shouldn't I be able to continue to use  iMessage on these devices.


As this is a business phone, there is no way I can contact everyone out there with an iPhone.

I'm in the UK, and have spoken to EE, who knew about the problem but still sold my company Samsung phones.


Their advice is to turn off your iMessages on all your devices and text everyone you know and advise them to turn you over to SMS. Totally unacceptable. I can hardly asks my customers to do that...


Like others here, I want to know when I can turn my Apple id back on? And will it make any difference?

Kilometers Dutch
Kilometers Dutch

So they are helping them avoid text charges by pushing them over there data limits instead.

I know that one message on imesssge is not that much but hundreds or thousands of them a month add up.

It really seems like they ruled that feature out after most mobile providers did away with unlimited data and implemented unlimited SMS and MMS plans

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