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Welch
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MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:45 pm

Damn I hate Apple and it's pushing users into using things like iMessage which seem to be the major issue here.

So I've got an office where they are attempting to group message. 4-5 out of the 6 people are using some form of iPhone, some as old as the iPhone 4s I believe, but all the way up to the iPhone 6+. One of the users has an AT&T Samsung Note 5, and is extremely happy with it. When attempting to send group messages they run into issues where iMessage doesn't let them add the Android user because he isn't an iMessage registered user.

Some of the Apple users were able to receive the messages from the Android user as a group text, while others don't get it. Then some of the iPhone users won't get other iPhone users messages properly in group, some of which will get them as individual SMS direct messages.

What gives!? In 2016 I can't believe text messaging is so broken. Of course I'd blame Apple's inclusion of trying to force iMessage down peoples throats and being such a walled garden to not allow messages to pass to/from android users easier considering it is a standard Apple didn't create (MMS).

Is there an easy solution to this problem? The owner just wants to blame the Android phone, even when the Android user was received fine at times and sent to fine. They are seriously considering getting him an iPhone as a fix which I don't think will do anything to resolve the problem in the long run, and would be a terrible "fix" to buy an entirely different phone when the user really likes his Note 5.
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localhostrulez
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:13 pm

As I recall, you have to disable iMessage on the iPhones to get them to knock it off, and use SMS/MMS - because it sounds like the iPhone users are actually communicating via iMessage among themselves, without knowing it (and then throw in an Android device, and you get a mess). Not sure there's any other way.
 
The Egg
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:14 pm

I'm fairly new to iOS myself, but I see a "Send as SMS" option in Settings\Messages with the description "Send as SMS when iMessage is unavailable. Carrier messaging rates may apply". Looks like it is off by default.


Edit: They might also try adding the Android user to the group message first
 
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:31 pm

Switch to better cross-platform messaging services like WhatsApp, Skype, Slack, Telegram, etc.?
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LoneWolf15
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:05 am

Egg and Fox both have good ideas.

Apple's idea is good on paper --the concept of iMessage was to cut down on text message charges, and allow texting in no-cell-signal areas. Problem is, there isn't an iMessage app for non-iOS phones, and there are some quirky side effects.

This is a situation where having a group-chat type of app is especially good. I've used Google Hangouts for a group of former IT colleagues, we build each other up and help out in situations where one of us is stumped. Google is getting away from Hangouts in the long run I think though, so you may wish to evaluate other apps. Slack, WhatsApp and some others may be a good option here if this is intended as work collaboration.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:19 am

The "use SMS when iMessage is not available" option should fix it for them. I have an iPhone 6S+ and have group messages that coexist between Android and iOS users frequently. That setting is enabled on my phone.

It's weird, though. I don't remember turning it on. I assumed it was the default.
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Flatland_Spider
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:08 pm

Switching to something like Google hangouts, Slack, or some internal server is probably a better solution for office communications versus SMS.
 
weaktoss
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:51 pm

I don't usually jump aboard apple hate trains, but iMessage has turned group messaging among my friends into a mess. For it to fail over gracefully to MMS, I think all of the iPhones in the group need to have the "use SMS..." option set properly. And god help you if any of those iPhones have you stored as an iPhone-using contact when you're not actually on an iPhone. iMessage is nice in theory, but it has created a lot of points of failure in group texting.

As others have said, I've found switching to Hangouts/Slack/Telegram/WhatsApp to be the best solution. You just have your work cut out for you trying to convince others to adopt a new platform.
 
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:15 pm

weaktoss wrote:
As others have said, I've found switching to Hangouts/Slack/Telegram/WhatsApp to be the best solution. You just have your work cut out for you trying to convince others to adopt a new platform.

Using a different app for "work only" may be a good thing. ;)
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derFunkenstein
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:20 pm

weaktoss wrote:
I don't usually jump aboard apple hate trains, but iMessage has turned group messaging among my friends into a mess. For it to fail over gracefully to MMS, I think all of the iPhones in the group need to have the "use SMS..." option set properly. And god help you if any of those iPhones have you stored as an iPhone-using contact when you're not actually on an iPhone. iMessage is nice in theory, but it has created a lot of points of failure in group texting.

As others have said, I've found switching to Hangouts/Slack/Telegram/WhatsApp to be the best solution. You just have your work cut out for you trying to convince others to adopt a new platform.

If you had an iPhone but no longer have an iPhone, you can deregister your number from iMessage. That should fix the problem with other iPhone-using contacts from sending you iMessages by accident. https://selfsolve.apple.com/deregister-imessage
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weaktoss
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:48 pm

I did actually go through the de-registering process, and the problem persists. It's likely user error on my friends' part, but it's still a bit irritating that it's an issue.
 
Welch
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:37 pm

Yeah convincing people to use something else is going to be fun. I'd push for Hangouts since they are currently using Google Apps for business anyhow, minus maybe one of them. I'm glad to hear someone else feel that iMessage is just ungraceful as hell when it fails to send to everyone else.

I guess I'll push for them to use Google Hangouts and see if that makes things any better. It has to be SIMPLE and unfortunately I have a feel that the owner is going to see this as a failure of the Android device.. Which you know what, I seriously think that Apple does this s^&$ intentionally. I think they want the messages to fail to go to Android or other users just so that it looks to the laymen that the common denominator here is the Android user. Which is true, only in that they aren't using some BS Apple messaging app. If they allowed not iPhone users the ability to download an "iMessage" app and sign up for an account it would at least make some form of sense and show that they care. I believe they would rather play dirty. Shame.

I'm going to be really sort of pissed if I'm expected to go get this one Android user, who loves his phone, an iPhone just so they can "group text" when it reality they are just using an iPhone messaging app that is circumventing using MMS.

Thanks for the re-confirmation that this isn't some one off issue. Appreciate it. Ohhh, and I did find lots of posts elsewhere of people having a nightmare of removing them as an iContact when switching from an iPhone to Android, regardless of following the steps to fix it by removing the device from their account, not an isolated incident.
Last edited by Welch on Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 4:38 pm

derFunkenstein wrote:
The "use SMS when iMessage is not available" option should fix it for them. I have an iPhone 6S+ and have group messages that coexist between Android and iOS users frequently. That setting is enabled on my phone.

It's weird, though. I don't remember turning it on. I assumed it was the default.


Either it used to be on by default and they changed it in iOS8/9 or it has been following me around via my backups because I don't remember ever manually turning that on either.
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Flying Fox
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:47 pm

Welch wrote:
It has to be SIMPLE and unfortunately I have a feel that the owner is going to see this as a failure of the Android device.

Basically all these chat-capable apps behave pretty much similarly to each other. How hard can that be? There may be a more serious intelligence problem if people can't get used to a different app where the most significant difference is the colour scheme. :x
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localhostrulez
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Re: MMS - Android/iPhone Mix Issues

Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:51 pm

Welch wrote:
Yeah convincing people to use something else is going to be fun. I'd push for Hangouts since they are currently using Google Apps for business anyhow, minus maybe one of them. I'm glad to hear someone else feel that iMessage is just ungraceful as hell when it fails to send to everyone else.

I guess I'll push for them to use Google Hangouts and see if that makes things any better. It has to be SIMPLE and unfortunately I have a feel that the owner is going to see this as a failure of the Android device.. Which you know what, I seriously think that Apple does this s^&$ intentionally. I think they want the messages to fail to go to Android or other users just so that it looks to the laymen that the common denominator here is the Android user. Which is true, only in that they aren't using some BS Apple messaging app. If they allowed not iPhone users the ability to download an "iMessage" app and sign up for an account it would at least make some form of sense and show that they care. I believe they would rather play dirty. Shame.

I'm going to be really sort of pissed if I'm expected to go get this one Android user, who loves his phone, an iPhone just so they can "group text" when it reality they are just using an iPhone messaging app that is circumventing using MMS.

Thanks for the re-confirmation that this isn't some one off issue. Appreciate it. Ohhh, and I did find lots of posts elsewhere of people having a nightmare of removing them as an iContact when switching from an iPhone to Android, regardless of following the steps to fix it by removing the device from their account, not an isolated incident.

Of course, Google does the same sort of thing. Use Hangouts/Voice as your phone number, and it likes to throw in Google+ contacts when it can. If you start a chat from PC, it tends to search all of Google+ (which has never, not once, been of any use to me) and not my contacts. On the mobile side it gets that right, but still links up G+ for my contacts that have it. It's sometimes a bit confusing - did I just send them a google chat message, or a good 'ol SMS through my GV number? Kinda funny, and I know everyone hates it, but Facebook Messenger got this right.

I will also say this, if you make phone calls with these guys, keep using regular 'ol phone numbers for that. Running calls through data on the go (with any service, really)... well, that has its own whole set of issues. A bit unreliable, hopping APs/switching to cell signal, etc. Oh, and if you're on iOS instead of Android, this stuff handles even worse - on Android, the app can actually pop up when you receive a call (vs just giving you a notification, which looks funny once the call has timed out), and there's some better AP-hopping functionality in the new versions so the voip call doesn't drop. Still not enough though. I finally gave up and dropped the darn thing entirely (as nice as wifi calling and international use is on GV).

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