By Elizabeth Barber
November 10, 2014

Messaged received: Apple has released a new tool to answer complaints that switching from an iPhone to a different smartphone dooms iMessages sent to them from other iPhone users to an unseen purgatory.

Apple’s new web tool lets ex-iOS users efficiently deregister their phone numbers from Apple’s iMessage system and ensures that future SMS messages get delivered to the new device.

The fix corrects a long-standing problem: If former iPhone users don’t disable iMessage before transferring to a different smartphone, SMS messages sent to them by people still using Apple devices can continue to be sent as iMessages. But, since iMessage is exclusive to Apple platforms, those messages won’t be received on the new smartphone. The bug is the subject of a class action lawsuit in California.

To use the new tool, ex-iOS users just enter their phone numbers into the web browser. Apple then sends a confirmation code by SMS.

Write to Elizabeth Barber at elizabeth.barber@timeasia.com.

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