Apple's New Web Tool Allows Easy iMessage Deregistration

By Steve Anderson November 10, 2014

Despite what some might think, people have been known to depart the Apple line occasionally and go to other mobile devices. For a long time, this was actually something of a problem, particularly for those users who wanted to get text messages sent from one device to another. But Apple may have just delivered a great fix for those departing members, and all in the form of a simple Web-based tool.

The tool in question—which was first noticed by an alert Reddit user, according to reports—allows users to deregister a phone number from the Apple iMessage system, a development that should make it a lot easier for users to switch brands. Previously, it was routinely noted that former iPhone users had trouble getting text messages after making the switch, which was due to Apple routing text messages through iMessage. Since iMessage was a proprietary system, it didn't follow users to other platforms, and so messages often never reached intended targets. With Apple's new Web tool, meanwhile, it became much easier to uncouple from the iMessage system by just entering a phone number into the tool, thus freeing the number from iMessage's exclusive grip.

For those fearing pranksters decoupling phones involuntarily, there's a security measure here as well; once the number is input, the system sends a confirmation code on SMS. Simply type that code into a browser window, and the decoupling is complete. Easy, and safe besides. Admittedly, there aren't a lot of people who jump from one device to another, but for those who use one device for personal use and another device at work, swapping SIM cards between the two devices, there's a certain value involved in carrying out such an action.

It's a reasonable enough idea; while there may not exactly be a flurry of takers to jump ship from Apple, there are likely to be enough to make accommodating said users worthwhile. There was even at one point, reportedly, a class-action lawsuit filed over the issue of iMessages vanishing, which suggests there were enough such users to make such a suit possible. But in this, Apple has offered a comparatively simple, easy-to-use fix that should be welcome on all sides of the equation. This is generally a move that earns points for the company that uses it, and should those departing users find the grass not quite as green as envisioned, said users should have all the reason needed to come back to Apple. Some might say this is fixing a problem that isn't really there; if text messages aren't reaching users, there's no shortage of other ways to get in touch from email to a straight phone call. But still, text messages have a lot of value, and there's little doubt that users will want a way to keep that tool in the toolbox.

Since the fix was only recently released, it will likely be a while before we see just what kind of impact it has on the overall trajectory of Apple releasing. Still, this move to provide better customer service overall should be a welcome one, and the kind of thing that gives an already popular company that much more credibility in the field.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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