Apple has acknowledged a bug within its iMessage system that keeps some users who switch from an iPhone to another maker's smartphone from receiving certain text messages.
The benefit of iMessage is the messages do not count against users' monthly plan texting limits, and can even be sent to Apple users overseas at no cost. Those who own multiple Apple devices can set them up so that when they receive an iMessage it will show up on all of their Apple devices, such as an iPad or a MacBook laptop.
But a recently discovered bug has frustrated iMessage users who have switched from an iPhone to another device and their friends who try to text them.
Turning off iMessage should ensure that all messages are sent as standard texts, and therefore get through to non-Apple devices.
But the new bug is preventing that from happening for some users. Instead, their texts continue to be handled as iMessages. This has prevented messages from iPhone users from being delivered to friends who have switched to a non-Apple device.
Apple on Thursday said it had begun to fix the problem.
"We recently fixed a server-side iMessage bug which was causing an issue for some users, and we have an additional bug fix in a future software update," Apple told Re/code. "For users still experiencing an issue, please contact AppleCare."
But the recent bug has only exacerbated a problem within Apple's iMessage system. Prior to the discovery of the bug, many users already experienced problems receiving messages after leaving their iPhones.
Apple has set up a support page explaining how to deactivate iMessage, but one former iPhone owner was so displeased with her experience switching to a Samsung Android device that she filed a lawsuit against Apple over the problem.
The woman is seeking class-action status for the suit and claims Apple failed to disclose that switching from an iPhone to another device would result in an interference of her text messages.
Apple has not commented on the lawsuit.