Google Fi sends garbled text message to iPhone subscribers

The experience of using an iPhone on Fi has come a long way from when it was not officially supported but still worked during the “Project” days to today, where it’s advertised (though 5G does not yet work). That said, iPhone owners on Google Fi yesterday received a random text message yesterday, but there should be nothing to worry about.

Quite a few — but not all — Google Fi iPhone owners received the following text message from their own number yesterday:

VM:CAUylgogChZjb2OuZ29vZ2xILmFuZHJ
vaWQuaW1zEgYI9JrBhQZNHJA

“VM” presumably stands for voicemail, while the characters that follow is Base64 (primarily) for: 

com.google.android.ims

That is Android’s Carrier Services application responsible for the “latest communication services from mobile carriers, including battery-optimizations and support for enhanced features in the Android Messages app.” The latter is in reference to Rich Communication Services (RCS).

Google Fi iPhone text

Some have speculated that those with these messages just received a voicemail (and that it was just a bungled transcription or notification), but that does not seem to be the case. Additionally, the text was sent again overnight. In all likelihood, this was just a case of the Google Fi backend temporarily bugging out.

There are no reports of issues resulting from this occurrence, though people are understandably confused. Meanwhile, support is not too helpful beyond standard troubleshooting steps and do not seem to consider it a problem.

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