One of the biggest complaints that I have had with Apple over the years is the nearly fighting resistance to let me go when I have switched from an iDevice to something a bit more Google-based. The “fruit” company doesn’t really like to let its exiting customers go, despite any misgivings they have about iPhone or just a simple curiosity about something Android has come up with.
While things like Apple Mail can be deregistered fairly easily, though I have had some issues with keeping my incoming email out of Mail’s hands in the past, the most blatant problem was honestly a pretty bad one at that. More often than not, and this is something both myself and a good number of friends have dealt with, when making the switch to Android from Apple, it didn’t seem that a good number of my text messages were coming through.
What was happening was basically this. My friends and family that still used iPhone or any other iDevice that sent texts to other Apple users through iMessage were failing to get through to me. The reason? iMessage does not work as SMS, the basic texting service that pretty much every carrier ever uses to send texts. It’s pretty universal and while Apple devices are, of course, capable of sending and receiving those messages, they prefer iMessage.
Before, it was a great and perilous fight to get your phone number pulled from your Apple account to allow other Apple users to simply text you and not iMessage you. Apple, like I stated, did not like letting go and a close friend even once got into what was nearly a shouting match with an oh-so-kind Apple Customer Service employee who simply could not fathom the idea of switching away from Apple.
Even going into your iPhone’s settings and turning off iMessage often didn’t solve them problem. For me, that simply kept me from receiving any message at all. This whole ordeal was a huge issue for a lot of Apple customers that wanted to sell off their iPhones when they moved onto a different devices. While normal texts were coming to their new phones, even reregistered iPhones could sometimes get old iMessages meant for the previous owner.
It seems the uproar has finally prompted Apple to release to the public a de-registration tool that will allow you to pull your number from your Apple account and, essentially, reclaim your ability to receive SMS from everyone, no matter what platform they themselves are using.
Frankly, it’s about time. It only took what amounted to a class-action lawsuit against Apple. The tool, a web-based program, is pretty easy to use. Simple enter your phone number on the website and you will be prompted with a confirmation code that will come to your device via SMS, NOT iMessage. Put this code back into the tool where prompted and there you go, your phone number and ALL your SMS messages are yours again.
I’m disappointed it took this long for Apple to get onboard with the idea that the SMS belongs to the user and not first to Apple. What do you think? Hit me up in the comments and let me know.