Fix iPhone not sending/receiving text and photos with Android devices

Published by Michael Carrano on November 06, 2023

I recently helped a family member fix an issue they were having with their iPhone 15 Pro, they were unable to send or receive any photos (SMS/MMS) if they were texting a person that has an Android device. If they disabled iMessage, then the photos were being sent as HTML code to the Android device.

I was one such person affected, I would text them photos, and on my end, it shows up as being sent. They never received it and I was left wondering why they weren’t responding to me. If they were trying to send a photo, then iMessage just showed a “not sent” error but no details as to why.

This family member wasted a bunch of time talking to Apple Customer Support who pointed their fingers at Verizon, saying it is a carrier issue. They would then give Verizon a call and explain things over again, only for Verizon to say it is an Apple bug and to wait for a new iOS update. New iOS updates would come and the issue would still exist.

Spoiler alert, it ended up being a Verizon issue.

After Googling various phrases related to the issue and following the usual troubleshooting steps:

  • Disable iMessage and Facetime: This didn’t solve the issue. This is when photos would arrive as HTML to Android devices.
  • Reset network settings: This didn’t solve the issue.
  • Double check iMessage and Facetime contact information, ensuring their phone number was selected: This didn’t solve the issue.
  • Remove old devices (phones and Macbooks) from their Apple ID: This didn’t solve the issue.

Since this family member uses Verizon’s service, what finally fixed the issue of sending and receiving photos with Android devices was to install the My Verizon App.

  • Install the My Verizon App
  • Log into your account (might need to log in with the owner account)
  • Scroll down to manage the iPhone that is having issues and select it
  • Scroll down to find block specific services
  • Make sure Block Picture & Video Messaging is not enabled, as that won’t allow sending/receiving the photos/videos from Android devices.

For an unknown reason, the Block Picture & Video Messaging was enabled on this family member’s device. So once we disabled it, forced quit the app, and then double checked it was still disabled, everything started working as expected.

If you are having this issue with AT&T or T-Mobile as your carrier, I would check to see if their apps have a similar functionality.