Where Are All Your iMessages?

by Barrett

Have you noticed you’re receiving noticeably fewer iMessages on your iPhone recently?  Maybe that’s because you’re not receiving any iMessages.  So what’s the problem…?

Have you noticed you’re receiving noticeably fewer iMessages on your iPhone recently? Maybe that’s because you’re not receiving any iMessages. So what’s the problem…?

I missed a text message from a friend on my iPhone the other day. I realized the problem when I got home and saw the lingering comment glowing on my iPad as an old iMessage.

I looked for it on my iPhone 6 Plus, but it simply wasn’t there…
Strange.

Why was my Wi-Fi iPad receiving iMessages that my iPhone was missing…?

So I decided to take a closer look…

Is iMessage Activated?
I opened up the ‘Messages’ settings on my iPhone.
The red flag was immediately evident….
I saw that ‘iMessage’ was simply turned off.
(That’s confusing.)

And to rub it in, the Off setting was accompanied by an ‘error’ message.

What?
How did iMessage get deactivated?

Come to think of it, I had recently noticed that some of my texts which would typically travel on the free, ‘blue’ iMessage road to another iDevice were only showing up as normal ‘green’ SMS texts that count against my texting plan.
(Yes, I still have a free-texting limit. Is that too old school?)

I didn’t think much of these little green monsters, because sometimes the blue path gets inexplicably blocked, forcing an iMessage to morph into a standard text.

Why Is iMessage Suddenly Turned Off ?
So I immediately reactivated iMessage on my phone, which required my thumbprint’s touch ID authentication.
(Why was my phone treating me like a stranger?)

More importantly though, I wanted to know why this had all happened in the first place.

I had recently upgraded my iPhone’s operating software to iOS 8.3. Was this the culprit…?

I took a look online at some Apple message boards, and in fact there were others talking about similar problems. But I found no official determination that an iMessage issue had been created by iOS 8.3.

Huh.

Check the Facts Again
Then I did a little more diagnostic research as to when the green texting regression actually cropped up. I tracked my daily texts to my wife, and in fact, they started turning green a month back on April 1.

D’oh!

And that was before iOS 8.3….

It’s possible I did a previous iOS upgrade on that day, but I no longer have any evidence.

All I’m left with is… April Fools!!!
(seriously?)

Don’t Anger the Tech Gods
So what are the lessons learned here…?

  1. Never ignore the playful (and frustrating) power of April Fools’ Day.
  2. It’s probably a good idea to check your iMessage settings every time you upgrade the iOS on your iDevice.
  3. If it takes a month to figure out you’ve got a tech problem, you can’t place all the blame on someone else.

Let’s move on…

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