The iPhone was my constant companion for two years. Emphasis on constant. I slept with the damn thing. At some point earlier this summer, it took a fall and the cracking of the screen that signaled the inevitable demise of the phone began.
The first crack was no problem. I dropped it in my driveway, but a piece of tape fixed everything. I was at work one morning when it dropped off a ledge and landed on hard tile. I saw the glass shards fly out from around it and in my heart, I knew that it was over. To my surprise, it wasn’t over. I picked it up (very carefully, of course, as my track record with broken glass and bodily injury isn’t all that good), and to my surprise, it worked. This wasn’t just a piece of tape fix; it was several pieces of tape, several times a week. But it worked! The front facing camera worked, even though there was no glass around it.
At some point last week, the little button at the bottom shifted to the side. Strangely enough, that still worked, but I noticed that it was starting to disregard my commands from time to time. And so, with hesitation, I headed over to the Verizon store to get a new phone.
I’d been researching, so I wasn’t heading in blind. (Never head into a phone store blind. That’s how they get you.) I knew I wanted a new iPhone. But I’d been thinking about the Samsung Galaxy S4. Thinking with no certainty. Just considering.
They were out of iPhones. So I panicked. I bought the S4. (They gave me $80 towards my purchase for trading in my old, busted phone, so I was pleased.) We set everything up, and confident that I’d crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s, I left. Turns out there was one little tiny insignificant thing they’d neglected to tell me: when you switch from Apple to Android, if you don’t turn off your iMessage, you can’t get any text messages from iPhone users (unless they have a specific setting set, which they might not).
Tiny. It’s not like I do a ton of texting. Or that most of my friends have iPhones. Except that I do.
I didn’t realize this until I sent a group text to my gym buddies on Sunday night. “Gym tomorrow? Thinking 10:30.” I said. No one responded. Half an hour later, just to be an ass, I said, “No takers?” And again, no one responded. Staring at my sad double text, I started to worry. What if they’re mad at me? I thought. What if they’ve decided that I can’t work out with them? You can imagine how this continued on for quite some time.
The next day, one of them came into work, all excited and happy. “We’re going to have the best night!” he said. I looked him with my saddest face. “Are you mad at me?” I asked. He was understandably confused.
“What are you talking about?” he asked.
“You never texted me back about the gym,” I said.
“We all did! Where were you? I was there at ten!”
He showed me his phone. After my first text, one of my friends had responded in the affirmative, and then nearly immediately after, I’d sent my “no takers?” text. Then they’d all made gym plans, thinking that I was an ass for ignoring them. Another of the group text participants asked me if I was mad at her the next time she saw me. “You’ve been ignoring me all week!” she said.
As we discovered that it was my phone that wasn’t getting the texts, I called Verizon. They knew immediately. “It’s iMessage. Do you still have your phone?” No, I gave it to you. “Oh….” Oh? Apparently, it’s a known issue, and yet the salesperson neglected to inform me that by the simple, twenty-second act of turning off iMessage would save me heartache and hurt feelings (however briefly). The tech logged into my Apple account from a test phone to disable iMessage, but it didn’t work.
Instead, I can no longer get texts from iPhones that aren’t set to send messages as SMS when iMessage isn’t available. My only options are to a) wait 30 days, at which point iMessage will apparently stop functioning or b) delete my Apple account, which is tied to a number of purchases and other things. Fantastic.
So if you’ve been texting me and I haven’t been responding, it’s not because I’m an ass. It’s because technology is an ass, and the Apple and Verizon people are colluding to make the transfer from Apple to Android products as painful as possible.
(I realize that this is a seriously insignificant issue in the scope of things. But 20 seconds could have saved me 2 hours on the phone with tech support — my least favorite thing on this planet — and a ton of frustration.)