How to Use the New Apple iMessage Features in iOS 10

By Kacey Kroh, Abshier House

Apple Messages, also known as iMessage, is a messaging application that comes standard with all Apple iOS devices. A major update for this application is scheduled to roll out on all Apple devices in September 2016 and will be included in the upgrade to iOS 10. The update integrates new great features for instant messages and SMS.

In addition to opening up the platform to third-party developers and plug-in applications, the iMessages application upgrade boasts several new features that include:

  • Emojification and Tap Back
  • Rich links and in-line video
  • Bubble effects, full-screen effects, and invisible ink
  • Handwritten messages and Digital Touch interactive greeting cards
AppleiMessage
Screenshot courtesy of Apple Messages application
The Apple Messages application update is packed full of new features.

How to use Emojification and Tapback

Using Emojification is easy. Open any message thread or create a new one. While typing your message, emoji will appear as a suggested spelling when certain keywords are used. Tap the emoji to replace the word you are currently typing. If you have already typed out a large block of text, you can go back and replace keywords with emojis by tapping the emoji symbol and selecting the highlighted words and then tapping on the appropriate emoji that appears in a pop-up bubble.

If you want your emoji to appear larger and outside of a message bubble, you simply send the emoji with no text and the emoji will appear three times larger than normal.

To use Tapback, double tap any message bubble that you receive and a pop-up will appear with preset emoji options. Select one from the list and it will appear as a smaller bubble attached to the message bubble. This feature is similar to a like, wow, sad, happy, or love on a Facebook post.

How to use rich links and in-line video

Rich links and in-line video is the easiest set of features to use. Actually, you don’t even know you are using them. To utilize this set of features, simply copy a web or video address and paste it in your message and send. The iMessages application will automatically convert the text into a video or photo thumbnail and will include a caption from the site that the address originated from.

You can also use in-line video and rich links when you tap the share button on any supported app or website. Then, you select the iMessages app from the pop-up list that appears.

How to use bubble effects, full-screen effects, and invisible ink

With the new iMessages application, you now have the ability to customize how your message appears. Press and hold the send button after you type your message and an overlay will appear that has two main screens:

Bubble effects screen

On the bubble effects overlay screen you have the option to send your message several different ways:

  • Normal: Sends a normal sized message
  • Quiet: Sends a message small in text
  • Loud: Sends a message large in text
  • Slam: Sends a message that shakes and slams down on the screen when sent
  • Invisible Ink: Sends a message that is private and only can be seen when the recipient swipes over the sparkling bubble.

Full-screen effects screen

On the full-screen effects overlay screen you have options to send balloons, fireworks, and other full-screen eye candy to make your message really stand out.

How to use handwritten messages and Digital Touch interactive greeting cards

Handwritten messages are a breeze to send. Simply tap on the arrow in the top left of the keyboard and the keyboard will change into a drawing pad. Draw or write a message with your finger and hit the send button. It is that simple!

To use Digital Touch interactive greeting cards, tap the heart icon at the bottom of the screen next to the camera icon. A black window will slide up from the bottom that lets you apply different colors and moving effects to photos or videos that you can send.

Because iMessages is the most used app of all applications on the iOS platform, feature enhancements were necessary to keep users from migrating to other applications.