In a magnanimous concession to consumer outrage, Apple has set up an online tool to let former iPhone users uncouple their phone numbers from Apple’s iMessage service, according to an article by Dante D’Orazio on The Verge. The tool is basically a website that lets users enter the phone number that they want to uncouple; they then get an SMS message with a verification code, which they enter into the site to confirm the conscious uncoupling.
The iMessage system’s inability to let go of users who’d moved on to other smartphones had been a serious problem. There have been widespread reports of users not getting friends’ text messages because those messages were still being routed through iMessage, culminating in a class-action lawsuit earlier this year.
With this problem resolved, one might wonder what similar issues might arise from the TouchID fingerprint scanner now equipped on all of Apple’s new mobile devices. Will its link with various 3rd-party apps cause similar issues for customers who ditch their Apple devices for something else? This fix to the iMessage problem at least provides reason to hope that any such problems can be resolved with a bit of effort on Apple’s part. In any case, now that the iMessage service has finally learned to let go, both it and its former users can at last turn the page to a new, happier chapter in their lives.