Apple acknowledges iMessage problems

Apple has issued one bug fix, and plans another, to address problems using iMessage to text with users of Android phones.

Story highlights

  • Apple is fixing problems with the iMessage service
  • The messenger sometimes traps messages when users switch phones
  • A customer is suing Apple over the problem

Apple's Internet-based messaging service, iMessage, has long had problems when it comes to interacting with non-Apple devices. Now the company is finally acknowledging the problems and rolling out a slate of bug fixes to make Apple-to-Android messaging less of a nightmare.

Instead of sending regular SMS text messages via wireless carriers, iMessage transfers messages across Apple's own servers to allow iPhone users to message one another without paying carrier fees.

But some people who switch from an iPhone to a non-Apple device have found it difficult to dissociate their phone numbers from iMessage. That leads to text messages from friends getting sucked up into Apple's database and disappearing instead of being sent along to the person's new phone as a traditional SMS message.

Users can turn off iMessage on all their Apple devices to remedy the problem, but sometimes the issue persists, especially if a user doesn't disable iMessage before selling his or her old iPhone.

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One frustrated customer is suing Apple over the issue, claiming that iPhone defectors are being "penalized and unable to obtain the full benefits of their wireless-service contracts." The claimant is seeking class-action status for the suit.

The growing backlash has now forced Apple to address the problem directly.

"We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update," the company told Re/code in a statement Thursday. It's not clear when the new bug fix will be implemented.

    Business Insider has a handy guide to help ensure your texts don't get caught in iMessage purgatory forever.