The transition has not been smooth.
One particularly distressing problem was that at one point our daughter's phone (an iPhone 6S) stopped receiving messages from our new phones. We live in Edmonton and my daughter lives in Montreal, and what made this problem more dreadful was that our iPhones reported that the messages had been delivered. Even more annoying, our daughter's phone was able to receive messages from her sister (who has an iPhone 8 and who lives in Edmonton).
My wife discovered this problem, and she was extremely upset about it––so much so that she seriously considered resurrecting her old Blackberry and adding it to our cellular account just so she could reliably exchange texts with our Montreal daughter.
Prior to this we had visited the Genius Bar at the Apple Store for an unrelated problem, and they had altered some of our iPhone settings. So, thinking that the messaging problem might be due to some wonky settings, I had a long chat with Apple Support. This did not fix the messaging problem and Apple Support suggested it might be caused by our cellular provider. (Seems unlikely, since both our daughters have different providers than we do.)
Following this my wife and I spent a lot of time tinkering with our phone settings, and, using only our own iPhones, we were able to replicate the problem.
We found that if my phone had the iMessage setting toggled OFF, and if my wife's phone had the same setting toggled ON, my phone did not receive messages from my wife's phone.
But what really stunned us was that when the phones in question just swapped settings, so that my iMessage was ON and my wife's was OFF, the problem went away.
So, basically, the problem seemed to boil down to this:
This made no sense whatsoever.
More detailsWe think we have partially isolated the cause of this weirdness, and that it has nothing to do with our service providers. It appears that it might be a flaw in the Apple messaging system that has to do with how the iPhone may or may not be linked to other Apple devices.
I have 3 other Apple devices, my wife has an iPad Mini. My iPhone is linked (or synced) to my other Apple devices. My wife's iPhone is not linked to her other Apple device,
We had to learn a bit about Apple's message system, and you you may want to skip this section if you are familiar with iPhones:
This should mean that if iPhone #1 sends an iMessage to iPhone #2 that happens to have iMessage toggled OFF, then the iMessage should be converted to a text message which can then be received by iPhone #2.
As I mentioned, when my phone had iMessage OFF and my wife's had iMessage ON, my iPhone did not receive messages, and my wife's iPhone reported that her messages were delivered. In this situation we discovered, quite by accident, that my wife's messages were actually delivered to all of my linked Apple devices, but no messages, text or otherwise, were delivered to my iPhone.
(In case you are wondering what happened when my wife's phone also had iMessage turned OFF, Then, regardless of my phone's iMessage setting, ON or OFF, my iPhone, along with all of my other devices, always received the message. And her phone also received any message that I sent to her.)
I checked with my daughter in Montreal to see what her iPhone settings were when we were having problems messaging her. In order to avoid data overages she had toggled iMessage OFF, and she confirmed that her iPhone was linked to another Apple device.
What's this about the iFinger?There is at least one other setting, the Cellular Data setting (Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data), that appears to interact with the message system.
In the problematical case, where my wife's iPhone had iMessage ON and, and my phone had iMessage OFF, the situation sometimes changed if my phone had Cellular Data toggled OFF. In this case, when my wife tried to send me an iMessage, it sometimes went into the blue iMessage bubble. If she held her finger on the bubble, her iPhone prompted her to send the message as text. When she accepted, the message was indeed sent as text, and my iPhone received it.
However, the iFinger procedure was not always available. More often than not, her iMessage was immediately sent. She had no opportunity to touch the blue bubble and we were back to the case where my iPhone did not receive a message while her phone reported as delivered.
The solution to all this, which was suggested by our Edmonton daughter, is to configure the iPhone 8 as follows:
This is how our Edmonton daughter has set up her iPhone, which explains why our Montreal daughter was able to receive messages from her.