I ordered a new Lumia 928 yesterday, and am anxiously awaiting a shipping notification from Verizon. In the meantime, I am beginning to research this huge leap into a whole new platform. Microsoft has a very helpful website that gives you an idea of how to transfer your calendar, contacts, and email, as well as answers some frequently asked questions. All my contacts are in Gmail, and I have an Outlook.com account, so I am in good shape there. However, I did find a thread at the Apple support forums that raised a red flag-apparently switching operating systems without turning off iMessage first is a bad, bad idea.
See, here’s the thing. Anyone with an iPhone who texts you will first be routed to iMessage, and if you don’t have an active iOS device, you simply won’t receive your messages. If you know ahead of time you are switching away from iOS, just go into settings–>messages–>set iMessage to off. This way your messages come in as texts, and there’s no problem.
However, what if you don’t turn off iMessage first? Or your phone gets damaged or stolen? According to the experiences of the folks on the Apple support boards, the only way to fix this is to log into your account at Apple.com, find your list of devices registered to your Apple ID, and delete your phone. Theoretically, this does correct the issue, though some people ran into problems getting their phones deleted. What seemed pretty universal is that Apple is not helpful when this issue appears, and it seems likely if you run into the issue that they won’t fix it on their end for you. They have, supposedly, claimed that the iMessage reroute ends after 21 days, but that’s a long time to be cut off from your iPhone-toting friends.
I know the smartphone world is a cutthroat one, but it is a bit mind-boggling that an issue like this can slip by with Apple not offering much of a solution. If you’re swapping from an iPhone to Android, Windows Phone, or Blackberry, get your ducks in a row first, and remember to turn off iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone! And if your phone is already deactivated, browse this thread on the Apple Support forums for tips on how to disentangle iMessage from your phone number!