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Messages question
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Thorzdad
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Jul 31, 2021, 04:32 PM
 
Occasionally, when we text friends/family using Messages, the texts go through as plain old SMS, i.e. the text bubbles are green, not blue. We’re all using iPhones, and are not in any edge areas where cell reception might be sketchy.

Anyone else experience this behavior?
     
ghporter
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Jul 31, 2021, 04:59 PM
 
It’s about connectivity sometimes.

As an example, I’ve recently spent way too much time in an enormous structure called Brooke Army Medical Center. It’s so big, and has “grown” in such a way that some areas of the building don’t have any cell coverage. When the coverage is sketchy - and there aren’t any public WiFi networks to grab - I’ve had messages to my wife who was just headed to the vending machine a few hundred feet away become SMS instead of Message format.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Aug 2, 2021, 11:08 PM
 
The usual response I get back for why that happened is a dead battery.
     
ghporter
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Aug 3, 2021, 01:08 PM
 
To be clear, you mean that response was “sorry, my battery was dead”, right?

I’m not sure exactly how Messages works overall, but I think it can sneak in on IPv4 and IPv6 networks that aren’t explicitly secured, so it can send and receive messages without formally established connectivity.

I’ve seen messages go just fine in places where I had zero bars and no WiFi (that the phone would admit to using), but that clearly DID have internal wireless networks. As an example, the MD Anderson main building in Houston is amazing, but the lecture auditorium is deep in the structure and I had no bars. But there’s a really well built wireless network - that I didn’t even try to log into, lacking any credentials to do so* - that’s well distributed throughout the building. You can see hot spots all over the place. So texting my wife from the auditorium should not have worked. But my messages went through like a champ, every time.

At other times, when I had no bars but there was clearly a great wireless network in place, nothing at all went through. I think that means their network was well secured, one way or another. No proof, no real metrics, but that’s my experience.

* The MD Anderson Cancer Center is part of the University of Texas System, and a good friend is a computer security manager within that system. Some schools are pretty crappy in their network security, but when there’s HIPAA issues involved, the System doesn’t play around. I was NOT going to schmooze my way into that network…

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Aug 3, 2021, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
To be clear, you mean that response was “sorry, my battery was dead”, right?
Yessir! Or in other words, because their phone was turned off.
     
ghporter
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Aug 3, 2021, 05:26 PM
 
I haven’t had a lot of folks even try to explain why they didn’t get a message (of any kind). It’s usually “I didn’t get your text.”

Interestingly, when I’ve had those “no signal, no WiFi” situations, when both my wife and I come home, as we enter the garage (and thus our home WiFi coverage), we get our respective messages. The phones go DING a lot, just as we pull in. So Messages really seems to be good at not losing a message, even if it doesn’t get delivered in a timely fashion.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
subego
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Aug 3, 2021, 05:54 PM
 
They (usually) get the message.

Whenever I text friends with an iPhone and what gets sent is an SMS, I usually say something dopey like “you’re green!”

That ends up prompting an explanation once their phone is back on.
     
   
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