Apple admits iMessage has issues and claims a software update is on its way

By Sooraj Shah
23 May 2014 View Comments
Apple iOS 5 iMessage app

Apple has acknowledged that its iMessage service, which enables iOS users to send messages for free to other iPhone users, has a range of issues that need fixing.

Among them is when ex-users trade in their iPhone for an Android device but keep the same number that Apple has recognised as an iPhone number, leaving users unable to receive their messages. The server glitch has been fixed by Apple, but the firm had admitted that a software update is necessary to ensure that all issues are fixed.

Further reading

iMessage works when Apple intercepts text messages sent from one iOS device to another and reroutes it through its own servers rather than sending it through the wireless carriers as a standard SMS or MMS message. Aside from saving users costs, it also allows iPhone owners to see when a recipient is typing or has read a message.

The server glitch meant that Apple's usual ability to remove users from its iMessage database stopped working. It has recommended users to turn off iMessage and uncheck their phone number from any other Apple devices that could also be using iMessage before switching to a non-Apple device.

The problem has driven one former iPhone user to go to court. The California-based woman is seeking class-action status for a suit against Apple, claiming that she hasn't been able to get the full value of her phone contract since she gave up her iPhone.

Apple declined to comment on the litigation but did acknowledge the problems with iMessage, in a statement sent to Re/code.

"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," it said. "For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare."

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