Tag Archives: Text Messaging

Why Am I Not Getting Any Text Messages After Switching From iPhone To Android?

I switched phones, and I'm not receiving text messages

So, you decided to come over to the dark side…

We are glad to have you.  Not only have you taken the grand leap of switching operating systems, but now you are unfortunately second guessing your decision due to the sheer frustration resulting from not receiving all of your text messages.  Do not fret, because once we put a digital band-aid onto your SMS blunder, you will be back on track.

Explaining said “digital band-aid” as referenced above…

You may have noticed (of course you have, that’s why you are here) that you are not receiving any text messages from any of your friends/colleagues that have iPhones, because they are being sent as iMessages.  iMessage is Apple’s proprietary messaging technology that sends messages over data, and when an iPhone sends an iMessage, it goes through Apple’s servers and then gets delivered to the intended device.

Problems arise when an iPhone tries to send an iMessage to a non-iOS phone.  One fix is to contact every person who owns an iPhone and is texting you and tell them to turn off iMessage from Settings > Messages > iMessage, but do you really want to have to do this?  I think not.

  • The best way to avoid this problem from the get go is to go into your phone’s settings and disable iMessage BEFORE you switch phones — otherwise other iPhones will continue delivering messages to your iMessage account and not to your actual phone.  You can test this before making the switch by making sure texts are coming in GREEN and not BLUE.  This is not always possible.  For example, lets say you forgot to do so before you traded your phone in, or it just broke and there is no way for you to power on your device to do that.. (you are obviously here, because you’re probably in this boat)
  • You need to completely shut down iMessage and have your phone number disconnected from every piece of Apple Software that you own including iCloud.  FYI iCloud can actually take up to 45 days to clear their servers of your phone number. Those dirty scoundrels!

This fix has worked for many:

  1. Reset your Apple ID password, and make sure to NOT log back in on your devices.
  2. Send a text to 48369 with the word STOP

Some other things you can try are if you have your old iOS device and it is turned on and connected to your WiFi in your home (if iMessage is turned on) texts will be delivered to this device and not make it to your new Android one.  Step #1 in the fix above addresses this problem as well.

It may take up to 12 hours before you start receiving these intended texts from iPhone users on your new Android device.

If there are a select few people who you must absolutely receive texts from before having the time to do the previous steps, call them and tell them to delete any prior conversations that they have with you in their phone.  Also, you can tell them to delete you as a contact and then re-add you.  Also when sending a message the sender can hit the little i next to the message and then select send as SMS.  These steps will most likely not be necessary if you do steps #1 and #2 above, but are a good remedy in the meantime.

Apple has since created a help page, which also has a lot of useful information that can help get you back to your texting frenzy.

Has anyone noticed any other major problems when making the switch from iPhone to Android or vice versa?  Please feel free to comment below.

 

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How to Opt Out Of SMS Emergency Alerts

SMS Emergency Alerts

A couple of weeks ago I was at work, and out of nowhere one of the most obnoxious sounds ever blared through the entire building.  I actually thought it was a fire alarm at first but soon realized it was coming from the mobile phones of every single person in the room in unison.  There had to have been at least 30+ people present.  You see, it is now not only the latest episode of American Idol that’s being interrupted by these pesky Emergency Alerts, because  times they are a changing.

This all started in June of 2012 when the federal government and wireless service providers built a system called the  Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).  This system sends text-like messages to wireless phones that are in the vicinity of an impacted area.  Standard text messaging charges do not apply.  I repeat standard text messaging charges do not apply, so you don’t have to worry about being charged for them if you are not subscribed to a texting package.  Even so, many people find these rather annoying.  The good news is that you can opt out of MOST of them.

There are 3 different types of messages that are sent:

  1. Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President of the United States or someone with similar authority
  2. Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, including tornados, hurricanes, tsunami or other even where there is an imminent threat to life or property
  3. AMBER Alerts – Alerts to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child

*Presidential alerts are the only ones that you can not opt out of receiving*

If you wish to be excluded from these audio bundles of joy, the setting to turn them off is located within the messaging app of your device (most phones but not all).  If it is not located there, you can check under the standalone settings app.  The following is an example provided from the Galaxy S3/S4/Note 2 series.

On your phone FIRST go into your MESSAGING application where you can see your text message threads then press the MENU key and choose SETTINGS.

From here you will see this:

SMS Emergency Alerts

SMS Emergency Alerts

If you really wanna have some fun with this then you can click on “Emergency notification preview” in the company of someone else.  The most opportune time would be in the following scenarios:

When they are either:

Sleeping, Reading a book, or Deep in thought studying for finals

SMS Emergency Alerts

At this point you should probably be prepared for bodily harm and/or flying objects.

Blackberry Shortcuts To Get To The Top & Bottom Of Your Email List

Blackberry Shortcut KeysScrolling through your emails can be a tedious task, especially if your inbox is overflowing.  It’s not like you’re training your thumb to go for the gold in this Summer’s trackball olympics or anything right?  Here is a much faster way to get the job done…

Press “t” for top and “b” for bottom when you are in your inbox.  That’s it.  Simple enough, right?

This shortcut works for your email and text messages on most blackberry devices.  This is also a great little trick if your trackball is being unresponsive.  For a complete list of shortcuts, please visit Blackberry Shortcut Keys.

How To Stop Unwanted Text Messages From 6250 That Say VZWNMN:1

So, you are getting multiple text messages from “6250” that say VZWNMN:1 over and over and over and over and over and…(I’m actually trying to be as redundantly annoying and tedious as these the text messages themselves).  Well, are you annoyed?  Of course you are!  Here is an explanation of what they are exactly, but more importantly how you can make them..

pink stop sign

Here is a cliff notes version of what is causing these unwanted texts:

Verizon introduced a new free feature some time ago called “sync and connect,and this allows smartphone users to view an all-in-one inbox online of all of their email account messages.  This includes access to their email accounts through My Verizon, and basically users are getting alerts via text message when a new email hits their inbox.  You caaaaaaaaan add this number to your block list to keep your phone from getting these alerts, but this is really only the equivalent of putting a bandaid on on the issue to mask the problem.  You want to completely stop them right?  Continue reading…

1.  First, log into your My Verizon Account.

2.  On the left and side of the screen, under Account Management, click on Change Features.     You may have to click the drop down to expand the menu.

How To Stop Unwanted Text Messages From 6250 That Say VZWNMN:1

3.  Select of the device that you would like to remove this service from.

4.  Scroll down until you find “Contact Management” and click Remove.

How To Stop Unwanted Text Messages From 6250 That Say VZWNMN:1

Ta’ Da’ !  There you have it boys and girls.  If you are unable to remove this feature yourself, you can reach customer service by dialing *611 from your mobile phone or by dialing 1800-922-0204.

Staying Connected While Traveling & Avoiding Roaming Rates

Remember when you would leave your cellphone home (or at least keep it powered off) when you journeyed off to some remote tropical island off the coast of…ahhhh does it even matter?  As long as there’s a steel drum band and an endless supply of exotic frozen drinks with tiny, colorful, paper umbrellas, I’m so there, and I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume that you would be too.  However, nowadays, I would bet that you would be a tad more reluctant to deal with the separation anxiety that comes along with not staying connected while you are away.  After all, our entire lives are on our mobile devices.  They are our cameras, calendars, personal assistants, calculators, diaries…you get the idea.  Today, choosing the phone that will pretty much be your everything for the next 2 years is almost as important as buying a new car, and people do not want to be separated from it, not even for a week.

It is for this reason, that I am writing this post.  You don’t have to leave it behind…but at what cost.  The last thing you want to come home to is a phone bill that is to the moon an beyond, and this can be a possibility.  There are, however, ways that you can have your cake and eat it too, all for very cheap or practically nothing.  I know this, because I have done it, and you can do it too.   This past October, I spent a week in Aruba, made tons of phone calls, sent and received a bunch of text messages and actively engaged in more forms of social media than you can count on one hand…after all, it’s always fun to post photos from your trip…thus reminding everyone back home that you are in paradise yet they, themselves, must wake up in 5 hours for work, and the only thing that they have to even remotely look forward to is a mug of burned coffee that has been sitting out too long.  Although, I would never…ever do something like that, because I’m a sweetie pie = )

Well, if you are anything like me, you must stay connected at all costs.  Well not literally…because by “at all costs,” i mean at the lowest cost possible.  Read on..

1.  Before you even step foot on the plane or arrive at your destination, the first thing you need to do is go into your phone’s settings and make sure Data Roaming is NOT enabled.  Then you want to make sure that your data (also knows as mobile network) is OFF.  This will disable your devices data connection, which is super important with smartphones.  In fact, it is the Holy Grail of roaming, reason being, if your data happens to be turned on you may have a boatload of apps running in the background, whose sole purpose in life happens to be making you want to drive off a bridge upon the receipt of your next wireless bill.  Data roaming charges are what will cost you the big $$$.  So disable it.  Your phone will still be able to make/receive calls/texts.

I like to take it one step further and…

2.  Also put my phone into Airplane Mode.  This will disable ALL connections.  You will not be able to use the phones call or texting feature in addition to any sort of data.  Essentially at this point, you have an MP3 player/camera/PDA.  “This is no fun!” you say.  Agreed.  Well here is where it gets magical…

3.  WiFi is you new best friend.  While leaving your phone programmed with the settings above, turn your wifi ON and connect to a network.  Most hotels and coffee shops offer free wifi, and in the event that it is not free, the rates will most likely be a lot cheaper than your provider’s roaming rates.  Once you are connected to wifi, you can use as much data as your want without being charged (Just make sure you see the little wifi symbol, which looks something like this and is located towards the top notification bar on your device.

So while you are on that wifi connection, check your email to your heart’s content, and while you’re at it browse as many web pages as it takes until your eyes glaze over.  It won’t matter,because it isn’t going to cost you anything.  Hmmm, but what about calls and texts, you may wonder.  It gets better.  There are apps that you can download that will allow you call and text over wifi  = No Roaming Rates.  YIPPEE!!!

Viber

The app that I use religiously is called Viber.  Learn it, Live it, Love it.  It is oh so Ahhhhhhhhhmazing.  The call quality is actually quite good, although this is dependent on how strong your wifi connection is.  Once you download the app, it will take you through the set up process.  After you log in with your mobile number, you will have the option to make free phone calls and messages  Here’s the catch.  The person that you are communicating with must have this app as well.  As long as this is all set up before you leave on your trip, it should be smooth sailing.

Of course, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you absolutely MUST contact someone and have no way of connecting to wifi, you can always momentarily turn airplane mode off and pay the roaming rates associated with your provider’s per minute/per message amount.  This also holds true for data roaming, and by this I mean turning your data/mobile network on briefly if you need to use it.  After you are done, you can turn the data off again and toggle your device back into airplane mode.  If you foresee yourself needing to use data and there existing the possibility of not being able to connect to WiFi, it would be in your favor to contact your service provider before you leave to inquire about global data packages.  These may be pricey, but it is much better to have it than to deal with pay-as-you-go rates.

There you have it.  The best of both worlds…A complete and utterly serene tropical paradise alongside your means to stay connected to your every day life.  Now, the only question is, what are you going to do with all the $$$ that you DIDN’T spend on roaming rates?

How To Backup and Restore Text Messages

SMSBackup1Unlike your contacts and photos, which are more commonly  automatically backed up via micro SD cards and online servers, your SMS Text messages don’t exactly follow in their footsteps.  So, in the event that you are trying to A. Transfer them to your *shiny* new phone because you just upgraded that bad boy or B. Trying to back them up before performing a factory data reset…this app will come in handy.  It is available free for Android devices from the Google Play Store.

1.  After installing and then opening the app, choose the option to Backup you messages.

SMSBackup2

2.  Select where you would like your backup to be stored.  I prefer the external Micro SD card.

SMSBackup3

3.   Enter a name for the file, or just leave what is already there and press OK .

SMSBackup4

4.  Your phone will proceed with the backup.

SMSBackup5

5.   Once finished, your phone will tell you that the “Backup is Completed.”  If any messages fail to backup, it is most likely because they are picture/media messages.  This app will not backup these types of messages, so in order to do so you will have to actually go into the message, long press on it, and if given the option to save the attachment, do so.  This will save it to your SD card or phone memory.

SMSBackup6

6.  You will then see a message that says this:

SMSBackup7

**Please be aware that for some reason, regardless of what option you choose, CERTAIN model phones automatically create the backup on your phone’s memory.  This is especially important if you are performing a factory reset, because after you create the backup you will need to transfer it to either your computer or a micro SD card BEFORE performing the factory reset, reason being once you reset your phone the backup you just created will be erased.  Your device may or may not fall into this category.  The easiest way to check and see where this backup is stored is by taking out your SD card, using a micro SD card reader and opening the folder on your computer.  If you can locate a folder titled “SMSBackupandRestore,” and there is an .XML file in that folder, the file is backed up on the sd card.  If it is not there, you will have to plug your PHONE into your computer, locate that folder and drag & drop it onto your desktop to get it off of the phone’s memory before you reset your device**

8.  You are now ready to A. Factory reset/restore or B. Transfer texts to the new device.  Proceed.  After booting up the new device, or after the device restarts following the factory wipe, download the same application and launch it.  This time instead of choosing Backup, choose Restore.

SMSBackup8

9.  Choose the name of the file you just created and then click OK. (If it says that there are no backups, but you know from the above step that the backup is in fact on your SD card, the app is trying to read the phone’s memory for that backup.  Simply move the backup from your SD card to your phone.  Again, certain model phones require this extra step.  The process for this involves plugging your SD card and your phone into your computer via USB and dragging the file from your SD card onto your device memory.  Once you do this, it will show up in the app when searching for a backup to restore from).

SMSBackup9

10.  Now choose whether or not you want to Restore All Messages  or Restore from a certain date and click OK.

SMSBackup10

11.  If you want your phone to check for duplicates, it can take a lot longer if you have thousands of texts and tons of threads.  On this screen selecting NO will help make the restore significantly faster.

SMSBackup11

You will now see a progress bar as the restore is occurring.  It is not necessary to remain on this screen.  If you press the home button and go into your text messaging app, you will see the threads moving.  This restore process will continue going on in the background until it is complete.  Wait to actually use the text messaging app until it is completed though.

How to Hide and Password Protect Your Text Messages

There are lots of reasons why you may want to put a lock on your text messages.  They may include keeping your terrible-two toddler from messaging your boss random gibberish, or possibly to keep your sister from snooping and coming across some racy, drunken photos of you in your birthday suit that you regrettably wish you could unsend, or maybe even perhaps to keep “Person A” from seeing your correspondence with “Person B.”  To each their own.  I’m not judging, but in case you were wondering how to do it, this is a pretty straight forward app that gets the job done and/or keeps you from spending your night sleeping on the couch.

The Android application is called SMS Lock and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store by clicking here, signing in with your Gmail and choosing the install option, or simply by downloading it straight from your device from the Google Play Store app.

Step 1:  Download the application by clicking Install. Here is a photo of what the app icon looks like.  It has a picture of an envelope and a little lock in the lower right hand corner.

SMS LOCK1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2:  After the app is successfully installed, open it and click on change lock pattern.

SMS Lock2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3:  This screen will pop up.

SMS Lock3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4:  Enter you desired lock pattern and press Continue.

SMS Lock4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5:  Re-enter your pattern and press OK.

SMS Lock5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6: Press Enable Lock as well as Messaging.  This will activate your pattern that you just created, and whenever you try to access your text messages, you will be prompted to enter the pattern.

SMS Lock 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7:  This is what the screen will look like when the pattern is enabled.  If you choose to disable the pattern, simply press Disable Lock.

SMS Lock7

You may be wondering why this is necessary if you already have a security lock on your device. Well this app will give you peace of mind, as it requires you to enter your pattern each and every time you go into your MESSAGING app.  This is helpful, because you may have your device set to lock after 5 minutes of inactivity, which essentially means you better hope no one picks up your device and starts snooping within those 5 minutes before your device has had a chance to go into lock mode.

There are many other apps similar to this one available in the Google Play Store and can be found simply by searching.  If you would like to download one that can also be set to lock access to the various other areas of your phone, I have found this to work very well.

So, text away my friend, and rest assured all your dirty little SMS/MMS secrets will be safely hidden away for your eyes only, unless of course you forget to exit out of your messaging app by pressing the home button after you are done .  Then you’re just SOL.  In the event that this occurs, I would suggest getting quickly acquainted with your new sleeping arrangements.