The stock IM application has been complaining that it "can't access my phone number" when I try to connect to AIM. I've been able to connect when I'm using a wireless connection a few times, but never using the data connection. I don't have any trouble getting gchat messages or mail or making phone calls. The error says:

Unable to sign into the AIM service. Please try again later. (Detail: Sorry, the phone number cannot be read from your SIM card. Please contact your operator for help.)

This has bugged me since I got my phone, definitely not new, but it would be nice to be able to use the IM on my phone. Any ideas about what might be afoot?

Phone: T-mobile G1, unlocked and running on AT&T OS: 1.6/donut (I know, I know, I can do better)

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    Have you tried logging on to AIM from a different client? There are a couple of multi-protocol ones in the Market, though I'm not sure which ones support Donut. (I also realize this doesn't address the core question of "Why is AIM being stupid?", so I'll go with a comment rather than an answer) – eldarerathis Mar 24 '11 at 23:11
  • I have no trouble accessing AIM via Pidgin on my laptop. I haven't tried other AIM apps for Android though. – Amanda Mar 24 '11 at 23:20

Apparently this is by design (did not know that until today). You can only use the AIM, MSN, and Yahoo! messengers on the G1 if you're using a T-Mobile SIM card. I suppose this may apply to other unlocked phones since the comment on the bug tracker implies that it's actually got something to do with the way Android or its APIs are doing things under the hood.

I'd just recommend trying a different client, I guess. I personally recommend Trillian or Meebo, but there's a bunch of others. Trillian is $5 (or you can go get an old beta version - they were free), but I like the UI and features a bit more. Meebo is free but also very good. One big difference is that Trillian supports C2DM, but that doesn't really apply here since it wasn't introduced until Android 2.2

As for the "why": I'm not sure, really. Matt may be correct, but AIM can send SMS messages from desktop clients, so your number seems like it might not really be necessary. I'm inclined to agree with that guess, though, since I can't think of any other reasons.


It needs your phone number because the app claims to send text messages which it probably does through an sms gateway. No idea why it can't find your SIM, but it's probably related to the fact that you are running a T-mo phone on AT&T. That shouldn't matter but I'm sure the AIM devs didn't account for that. I'd try a different service that supports AIM like eBuddy.


It is because the stock app sends SMS for chatting instead using the internet connection.

I discovered with shock 2 years ago, I did not have an SMS plan and I had to pay $40 in text messages....

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