Switching to Android: How to fix not receiving text messages from iPhone iOS users

After quite a few years of reliable use, my iPhone 5S finally broke down on me. There were some odd scratches or particles inside the camera mechanism in the phone that caused large blotches to appear in all of my pictures. It was really annoying because I love using my phone camera while I’m out.

A picture of my wall, showing the dark blotches from damage to the camera.
A picture of my wall, showing the dark blotches from damage to the camera.

I did some research online and the problem seems to be caused by dust or impact damage to the camera lens. My iPhone wasn’t new, by any means. It had suffered more than a few drops and it was out of warranty. Regardless, Apple won’t repair damage to the camera in-store. People who had this issue were given new phones instead if they were within the warranty period. Even if Apple did repair damaged camera mechanisms, I wonder if it would have been worth it? A brand new iPhone 5S is $99 on Virgin Mobile. The repair might have been as much or more.

Not quite ready to spend a lot of money on a new phone, I tried carrying around an actual camera with me for a while. Besides being extra weight, bulky, and more difficult to use (so many settings and stuff), it felt like I was whipping out and wielding a rotary phone. Mostly, it was just an awkward experience and the pictures the camera took weren’t that good anyway. Even the iPhone 5S did a better job. I wasn’t really surprised though. The camera I was trying to use as an alternative was a few years older than the 5S.

I finally caved and decided it was time to purchase a new phone. After much consideration, I decided to jump ship and switch to a Samsung Galaxy S7 running Android Nougat 7.0. I think what finally sold me on the device was the water and dust proofing (so I wouldn’t have the camera problem I had with the iPhone 5S) and the excellent camera. I’m also still butthurt about Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7. I don’t think it was worth it to get a vibrating non-button home button. They’re giving less and asking for more than a viable competitor.

It took me about 10-12 hours to install and log into my favorite apps (or find alternatives in the Google Play Store), customize the launcher, set wallpapers, and just get comfortable with the device. But then I hit a snag. I realized I wasn’t receiving text messages that were sent to me by people using iPhones.

The Fix:

I did some research online to see how to get the problem fixed. I had a feeling it had something to do with iMessages, and I was right. The top search results recommended doing things like sending text messages to random numbers with a STOP command, but that didn’t seem to do anything. Also, the article was pretty old and dealt with a previous version of iOS.

I did some tinkering on my own and realized the solution in iOS 10 is pretty simple:

Simply toggle off iMessages in your Messages Settings menu.
Simply toggle off iMessages in your Messages Settings menu.

On your iPhone, open Settings < Messages, and toggle off iMessage. If you have an iPad like I do, toggle off iMessage there as well. Also, in the next menu down, toggle off FaceTime.

Then you just have to wait. I managed to get this far at around 2 AM. By 8:30 am, I was receiving text messages from iPhone users again.

If you have an iPad, make sure to turn off iMessage there as well. Also disable FaceTime.
If you have an iPad, make sure to turn off iMessage there as well. Also disable FaceTime.

As far as the Samsung Galaxy S7 goes, it was worth it. It’s an awesome phone, especially coming from an iPhone 5S. I’m happy with the camera too. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to test it yet, but so far I’m happy with how it performs. There are no filters on the photos below:

Spring Weather and New Camera Photos

Union Square on the first warm day of 2011.

Yesterday was awesome.  I forgot how good it can feel to sit in the sun and just feel warm.  The temperature yesterday got up to 73 F in New York City.  People were carrying their coats and unwrapping their neck scarves.  The city just felt more lively.  Instead of the quick shuffle of bundled people moving up and down the street, people were taking their time, strolling.  Unfortunately, the temperatures are going back down over this coming week so I can’t hang up my coat for good yet, much as I’d like to.  Still, it felt good, for one day, to walk without being burdened by a coat.

I took the picture above with a camera I bought to replace a four year old Sony DSC-N2.  I went cheap and got a Nikon Coolpix 3100.  I thought I could get by with a lower end camera, but I was wrong.  I suppose I thought that after four years, a lower end camera would still outdo the four year old, near relic I was replacing.  Instead, the photos were coming out blurry, or, at best, grainy when zoomed to 100%.  It was really aggravating and after 3 days I decided it just wasn’t going to work out for me.  So, I packed it back up in its box and took it ‘home’ to Best Buy to exchange it for a better model.  I got the Nikon S8100, which has a lot more features and takes some bad ass photos that are really sharp and clear.  So far, I’m loving it, and tomorrow I’ll be taking it with me to the MET.  I have to go up there to find a sculpture to write a 2 to 3 page paper about.

(Links go to product pages, not sales pages)

Here are some examples of the S8100’s image quality (click for larger):

Picture of the school behind our apartment.

See that school over there?

A close up of the relief in the top left corner of the center door:

A close up of the relief of the school behind our apartment.

I’m amazed at how clear the image is, despite how long the zoom is.

Just some tree branches.

Just some tree branches.  I took this photo to see how clear the small branches would be.  It didn’t focus on the closer one, but on the ones behind it.

A close up of Purina cat chow.

I wanted to see how good a close up shot would look, so I took the above photo.  Can you guess what it is?  Purina cat chow.  =)

Leaves of an avocado plant.  A bit dusty.

Anyhow, I’m hoping to get some nice photos at the MET tomorrow, once I’m done with my paper.