Hillel Cooperman is the founder of web software consultancy Jackson Fish Market and an app designer.
He’s also a TED speaker.
Until this winter, he was also a hardcore iPhone user. At about that time, Cooperman says in a long, thoughtful blog post, he decided he ought to get more serious about understanding the Android phones he was designing apps for.
Androids have more users than Apple’s products, but designers and developers tend to own Apple products themselves. So they’re often designing apps for products they don’t personally use — which isn’t ideal.
When Cooperman made the switch, he immediately discovered iPhone’s biggest flaw: iMessage, the Apple app that handles text messaging, often won’t send texts to Androids. And if you’re an iPhone user who switches to Android, you can often find that Apple lets your text messages get stuck inside iMessage instead of delivering them to your new phone.
After Cooperman stopped receiving texts, he did something that, for the rest of us mortals, would be a mere pie-in-the-sky. He emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook for help. And it worked — kinda. Cooperman found himself getting “executive” support for his problem.
It didn’t work, unfortunately. Here’s what happened:
But the single most awful part of my Android jaunt has nothing to do with anyone at Google. It’s all Apple. Right after I began to write this post, I started seeing reports in the media of widespread problems with former iPhone users receiving their texts from iOS users. I ran into that very same issue. It took an email to Tim Cook to get me into Apple “executive” support. They were more helpful than regular support and very nice, but when all their recommendations failed to solve the problem they told me that my friends who couldn’t text me would have to call them and install debugging software on their phones for Apple to do anything to fix the problem, and short of that Apple could do nothing. This was a terminally unsatisfactory answer in my opinion. It’s annoying enough to my friends and co-workers that it appears that I’m ignoring their texts. I can’t conscientiously ask them to become unpaid testers for Apple to solve the problem. The Apple support person I spoke to didn’t understand my objection and that’s when our conversations ended.
Cooperman recommended this solution to the problem:
Every month, one twelfth of Apple’s employees should be required to switch to Android for the month. I promise that before the second month is out this problem would be fixed for all of us.
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