A peculiar formatting error is causing text chaining issues between iPhone and Android users, and no one seems quite sure who’s to blame.
Multiple reports in multiple threads on Reddit and elsewhere complain that the number of people using Android or Google Voice is shown on iPhones with an extra + sign at the beginning. This leads the iPhone to get confused and think it must be an international number: for example, if the first two digits of the area code were 44, it would change to the +44 international code for the UK when the iPhone did its automatic number applies. formatting.
This misidentification can lead to several annoying problems. Chat threads can break because the phone thinks newer messages are from another person. Meanwhile, if you’re texting someone for the first time, they may not read the message because the strange number suggests it’s a scammer.
Some commenters have speculated that the problem is somehow related to iOS 16, and it is true that the problem seems to coincide with Apple’s iOS 16.5 update. But curiously, an almost identical problem was reported several years ago, with one of those affected noting that they were using iOS 13.1.2. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that issues with 13.1.2 and 16.5 just happened to manifest in the same bug, but it’s hard to imagine Apple fixing the original bug only to allow it again all these years later.
At the time, Apple reportedly “confirmed to me that they do not modify/provide/etc the incoming phone data in any way. They said that’s all from the carrier. But if the carrier is the culprit, it’s odd that T-Mobile has been the focus of anger before, when now, according to MacRumors’ reporting, most of the complaints come from AT&T users.
For now, the whole thing is a mystery. While several solutions have been suggested – text yourself, do a hard reset, reset network settings – the most reliable is probably to make sure contacts are entered with the correct international code. For US contacts, this means adding the +1 at the beginning.