Nine Smart iPhone Messaging Tricks

The Messages app on your iPhone lets you exchange short text messages with any cell phone that supports the SMS protocol. You can also send and receive MMS messages, which means you can exchange pictures, contacts, videos, ringtones, other audio recordings, and locations with any cell phone that supports the MMS protocol.

Here are some others things you can do with messages:

  • To search your messages for a word or phrase, type the word or phrase in the Search field at the very top of the main Messages screen.

  • To use a Bluetooth keyboard instead of the on-screen keyboard, pair your Bluetooth keyboard with your iPhone.

    The Apple Wireless Keyboard ($69) works great with the iPhone (and iPad and iPod touch devices, too).

  • To send a message to someone in your Favorites or Recents list, tap the Phone icon on the Home screen, and then tap Favorites or Recents, respectively. Tap the blue > icon to the right of a name or number, and then scroll down and tap Text Message at the bottom of the Info screen.

  • To call, e-mail, or start a FaceTime video chat with someone to whom you’ve sent a message in the past, tap the Messages icon on the Home screen, and then tap the person’s name in the Messages list.

    Tap the Call or FaceTime button at the top of the conversation to call or start a FaceTime chat (respectively) with the person, or tap the Contacts button and then tap an e-mail address, and a new e-mail message addressed to that person appears. The last part will work only if you have an e-mail address for the contact.

  • Did you send someone a message? Receive one from someone? You can add the person to your Contacts list by tapping the person’s name or phone number in the Messages list and then tapping the Add to Contacts button. If the person is already in your Contacts list, the Add to Contacts button doesn’t appear, so don’t bother looking for it.

  • If a message includes a URL, tap it to open that web page in Safari.

  • If a message includes a phone number, tap it to call that number.

  • If a message includes an e-mail address, tap it to open a pre-addressed e-mail message in Mail.

  • If a message includes a street address, tap it to see a map in Maps.

And that’s all there is to it. You are now an official messaging maven.

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