Smart iPhone Messaging Tricks

With your iPhone, you can send a message to a person in Favorites, call a phone number in a message, start a FaceTime video chat, and more. Read the following list to find smart things you can do with your messages:

  • To automatically delete messages after a specific period of time, choose Settings→Messages and then choose to keep text messages a month, a year, or forever. You can also set audio and video messages to either expire after two minutes or to never expire.

    Remember that your iPhone has limited storage space and that audio and video messages can quickly fill that space. If you don’t set audio and video messages to expire after two minutes, your iPhone could get full pretty quickly. So either let them expire after two minutes or delete them manually every so often.

  • To search your messages for a word or phrase, type the word or phrase in the search field at the 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 a name and then scroll down and tap Send Message, near the bottom of the Info screen.

  • If a message includes a URL (web address), 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 email address, tap it to open a pre-addressed email message in Mail.

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

  • To call, email, 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, tap the conversation in the Messages list, and then tap the Details button at the top-right corner of the conversation. Then:

    • Tap the telephone receiver to call the person.

    • Tap the video camera icon to start a FaceTime chat with the person.

    • Send the person your current location.

    • Enable Do Not Disturb for this conversation.

    • Tap the little i icon for additional options.

    • Start a FaceTime video or audio call with the person.