For the past several weeks I’ve been trying to figure out an ongoing issue with my Verizon iPhone 4s. Today I stumbled upon the resolution and wanted to blog about it here so that others can find the answer.
* message failures when attempting to send MMS, group text messages, or pic messages to certain recipients.
* no visual voicemail notifications.
* random intermittent failures of notifications on other apps.
* iMessage texts fail, but can can be resent as a “regular text message”.
If you’ve been asking questions and making statements like the ones below, continue reading!
Why has my visual voicemail notifications stopped working?
Text messages to multiple recipients is failing.
I can’t send picture messages on Verizon iPhone.
For me it would be totally frustrating. I’d compose a group message and attempt to send a picture to 4 people. It would immediately give a message failure error and have the red exclamation point icons next to the pictures. There were some people who I could never send a picture message to.
Apparently, this was restricted to whether the iPhone was sending as a regular text message or as an iMessage. I had the worst time figuring it out because sometimes I could send a text to multiple recipients and sometimes I couldn’t. Most times it failed.
I also didn’t receive voicemail notifications. I’m a bit embarrassed to know that I went nearly 4 weeks without getting my voicemails.
The Mystery Solved
Today I finally caved and called Verizon tech support. I was on the phone with them (including Tier 2) for about an hour. We re-programmed the phone, reset the network settings, and did all the normal troubleshooting. Finally, as I was going through my General Settings I noticed something at the bottom, just above the Reset button:
Then I knew what happened. About a month ago I saw a banner ad for an app that would “save up to 5x on your bandwidth for iPhone”. It was one of these ads you see while playing Scramble with Friends or Words with Friends. The app was called Onavo Extend. I downloaded the app and used it for a couple of days. That’s when all the problems started happening and I figured out that this bandwidth-saving app must be preventing my phone from working properly. I deleted the app but didn’t notice any differences.
Now, a month later, I see that deleting the Onavo Extend app doesn’t fully remove it from the phone. You still have to remove your profile.
As stated above, I went into General Settings and clicked on “Profile > Onavo > Delete” and deleted the profile. I restarted my phone and BOOM — 30+ visual voicemail notifications. Boxcar notifications started working again. I sent a test pic message to my buddy, Danny, whom I’d not been able to send a pic message to for a month. It went through instantly.
I decided that in all fairness I should report this to Onavo and as I started reporting the problem I realized they are aware of it … more than 7 months ago. Anybody with a problem like that shouldn’t still be trying to get people to download the app. That’s absurd.
So if you’ve been having similar problems with your iPhone 4s, check to see if a bandwidth app is installed, such as Onavo Extend. If it is, delete the app and go into General Settings and make sure the profile is removed as well.
I’m not blogging this to bust on the company or the app – but I searched for weeks and couldn’t find any help on this issue. Hopefully this blog entry will get archived by Google and will help someone else. If it’s helped you, leave a comment and let me know!