Today’s Apple Feedback: Messages on an iPhone 6s with Sprint do not convert to SMS like they did on the iPhone 4s

Immediately upon my wife and I upgrading our pair of iPhone 4s’s to 6s’s, I called to complain that I was not receiving messages from my wife while on calls anymore.  I was given the run-around both from Sprint and from Apple, stating that, as I already knew, you can’t do data and phone calls at the same time on Sprint’s CDMA network. BUT, you can get SMS’s while on a call and after some testing, I figured out that there was nothing wrong with our new phones receiving SMS messages.  The problem was on the other end – with sending them.

With our 4s’s, both with iMessages enabled (you can confirm this from our message history), if the message wouldn’t go through (because I was on a call), her phone would convert the message to a (green) SMS and try sending it again. I’d receive it while on a call and hear the message chime over my phone call.

This does not work on an iPhone 6s, though I don’t know if it was specific to the hardware itself or if it could have had to do with a newer iOS that came with the 6s’s that couldn’t be installed on a 4s.  On a 6s, Apple appears to have dumbed down message sending.  It will only attempt to send a message as an SMS is the sender has no wifi or data connection.  It no longer pays any mind to the receiver.  If they’re on a call, the message just gets buffered somewhere and once the other person gets off their call and again connects to a data signal, whether it’s a phone carrier’s data connection or a wifi signal, they get all their buffered messages at once.

I commute to and from work on my bike.  It’s an hour ride and I like to pass the time by talking on the phone.  My wife invariably messages me while I’m on my call, either about dinner or wanting to know when I’m getting home or whatever.  I pretty much expect to hear from her every time.  I would usually hang up whatever call I was on (usually some family member) and ask Siri to read my messages to me while I rode.

I thought that when we bought the 6s’s, they would be better and more capable.  I did not expect their capabilities to regress, so I’ve called to complain about this numerous times. I’ve tested with numerous iPhones and Android phones.  My latest feedback to Apple is below:

Convert iMessages sent to me to SMSs during calls on sprint

I’m submitting this issue again. When my wife and I bought our iPhone 6s’s about a year ago (staying with sprint), the first thing I noticed that they could not do that our 4s’s could was automatically convert an iMessage to an SMS when the other one of us was on the phone. E.g. I ride my bike for an hour commute and I talk on the phone the whole time. With our 4s’s (on Sprint), when my wife sent me a message (with iMessage enabled), which she always does at some point during my ride, the message would get converted to an SMS and I would receive it while on the call. But with our 6s’s set up the same way, I do not get her messages until I hang up the phone, i.e. her phone does not convert the iMessages to SMS’s. We’ve been with sprint for forever and our 4s’s could do this.

iOS 11.0.3

In fact, some Apple support people I’ve spoken to had the same complaint about not receiving messages.  Apple has been unresponsive on this issue and it’s ridiculous to have to turn off iMessages to be able to get around this issue.  So I am blogging this out there to raise awareness that it doesn’t have to be this way!

Complain to Apple about this issue and have them fix their newer phones to restore the capability of converting iMessages to SMS’s the way the 4s used to do.  If enough of us complain, maybe they’ll deign to get around to it.

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