Smart Messaging Tricks for the iPad mini

By Edward C. Baig, Bob LeVitus

Your iPad mini is one smart device. It can do lots of neat tricks when it comes to messaging. Here are some super handy things you can do with messages:

  • Search your messages for a word or phrase. Type the word or phrase in the search field at the top of the Messages screen.

  • Send Read Receipts to allow others to be notified when you have read their missives. Tap Settings→Messages, and slide the switch so that Send Read Receipts is on.

    In iMessages, you can see when your own message has been delivered and read, and when the other person is readying a response.

  • Use a Bluetooth keyboard for typing instead of the on-screen keyboard. You’ll need to pair your Bluetooth keyboard with your iPad mini.

    The Apple Wireless Keyboard ($69) works with the iPad mini and the iPhone.

  • Dictate a message. Tap the microphone key on your keyboard and start talking. Tap the microphone key again when you’re done. This method isn’t as quick or as much fun as Tap to Talk, but it works.

  • Open a URL included in an iMessage. Tap the URL to open that web page in Safari.

  • Send an email to an address included in an iMessage. Tap the email address in a message to open a preaddressed email message in Mail.

  • See an address included in an iMessage. Tap the address to see it on a map in Maps.

  • Choose how you can be reached via iMessage. Tap Settings→Messages→Send & Receive. Then add another email address or remove any existing addresses. You can also select the email address (or phone number) from which to start new conversations.

  • Show the Subject field. Flip the switch to show a Subject field with your messages.

  • Block a sender. Block someone who is harassing you or has left your good graces. Tap Settings→Messages→Blocked and select a name from your contacts. You will no longer receive messages or FaceTime calls from this person.

  • Share your location. Meeting a recipient in an unfamiliar place? In the middle of your conversation, you can share your location on a map. Tap the Details button at the upper-right corner and then tap either Send My Current Location or Share My Location.

    Choosing the latter gives you the option to share your whereabouts indefinitely, until the end of the day or for one hour. In Details, you can monitor how much time is left before your location will no longer be shared.

  • See all the message attachments at once. Tap Details and you can browse in one place all the photos and videos from your conversation.

  • Keep Messages history. You can keep your entire Messages history on the iPad mini permanently, for one year, or for 30 days. Tap Settings→Messages→Keep Messages and make your choice.

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