Apple provides overdue fix for iMessage bug

Apple has released a new tool to fixes an iMessage bug that’s been annoying users ever since it was introduced, some three years ago.

Anyone who used iMessage, but later switched to a non-Apple device without remembering to turn the iMessage service off, had their SMS messages stuck in limbo with no way of ever receiving another SMS from an iPhone user.

Now users can de-register from the iMessage service and receive their SMS’s by visiting the Apple site and entering their phone number. Before this tool, only an Apple specialist could turn the service off.

Before the fix, one affected user – Benjamin Stein – wrote on his blog that the temporary solution was to “tell every single one of your friends to delete every single message thread that you have ever been on.”

In a statement, Apple said: “You may need to turn off iMessage if you are now using a non-Apple phone and can’t get SMS or text messages someone sends you from an iPhone.”

The iMessage service bypasses the traditional SMS, so that anyone who has an iPhone can send texts, photo or video messages to another iPhone user for free.

If a user decided to switch to another manufacturer, but forgot to deregister the phone from the Apple’s service, everyone with an iPhone trying to send a message to that user would fail.

The user, on the other side, would receive neither the message, nor a notification of failure.

As you would expect the new tool has been well received by smartphone users, despite being long overdue.