It’s an app you probably use every day, but are you getting the most out of the iPhone’s Messages?
We’ve got some fun tips and tricks to show you how to do more with your SMS, MMS and iMessage communications.
Read on for nine fab ways to save time, better personalize your experience and become a leaner and meaner text-expert.
1) Respond like a ninja
If you’re in a rush you can respond to a message in seconds with a pre-loaded response.
Simply tap and hold the message you received and you’ll see the option to react with a heart, thumbs up or down, the phrase “ha ha,” exclamation marks or a question mark.
Just touch the required response to send it to your buddy.
2) Customize messages to brush off callers
More polite than just cutting off an incoming caller, the iPhone gives you the option to send them a short message explaining why you’re not answering.
There are three messages Apple pre-loads by default, but you can change these to better suit your own circumstances.
Head to Settings, then Phone, then Respond with Text. Here, you can overtype Apple’s messages.
Now when someone calls and you can’t answer, simply hit the Message icon towards the bottom right to see the three responses you can reply with.
3) Send selective read receipts
By default, read receipts are turned off, however, iOS 10 has brought the ability to turn the functionality on for certain contacts, rather than give blanket permissions to all.
This could be useful if you want your significant other to know you’ve read their message, but don’t want your mom to know you’ve seen her latest mammoth missive.
If you do want to turn on read receipts for everyone that requests one, go to Settings, Messages, then toggle Send Read Receipts to on.
To manage read receipts on an individual contact basis, go to the Messages app, open the conversation with the person you want to give permission to, then tap the “i” in a circle (the info icon) and look for the Send Read Receipts. Toggle it to on.
4) See exactly when a message was sent
If you enter into a same-day text conversation with someone, individual message timings are not displayed. It is however, possible to view this information.
Simply go into the conversation and swipe your iPhone’s screen to the left.
You’ll now see exact times for each part of the conversation to the right-hand-side of the display.
5) Markup photo messages
iOS 10 brings Apple’s “Markup” functionality to Messages. It’s a quick way to highlight something or add a quick annotation to imagery you can then send via iMessage or MMS.
To markup your pics, go into your Messages app, tap the camera icon to access your Camera Roll, then, rather than just tapping an image to add it to the message, press and hold the photo.
This then brings up the image with the options to Markup or Edit at the bottom of the screen.
You can now add text, draw on the photo and/or even magnify certain areas.
6) Create useful keyboards shortcuts
This isn’t a new feature, but it’s one of those that people tend to forget about. It’s very easy to create keyboards shortcuts for phrases you might type often.
To set these kind of shortcuts up, go to Settings, General, then Keyboards. Tap on Text Replacement, then hit the plus icon at the top right of the screen to create your own.
It goes without saying that it’s best to create shortcuts that aren’t actual words that you might type.
Now, when you’re in Messages, typing your shortcut code will bring up the option to enter it into your message text.
7) Shake to undo typing
In Messages there’s a handy trick that means you can shake to undo what you’ve just typed. It may be more of a novelty feature for some, but there is something satisfying about deleting text with a big ol’ gesture.
Simply shake your iPhone, then select Undo to delete what you’ve just typed.
8) Use your iPhone in landscape mode
If you turn your iPhone sideways in the Messages app, you’ll go into landscape mode. This gives you a larger text window to type.
Plus users will also get more options at the left of their screens, as well as a split screen view showing their most recent messages.
If you have small hands, you may not find this format the easiest to thumb type on, but others may prefer having increased options available to them from the one screen.
9) Get your iPhone to read out your messages
Offered as part of Apple’s accessibility suite of features, this is aimed at visually impaired iPhone owners, but can have some merit (and some comedy value) for all.
Your iPhone can read out your texts to you, all you need do is enable Speak Selection.
Go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Speech, then toggle Speak Selection to on.
Now, when you select a body of text on your iPhone’s screen, you’ll see the option to Speak pop-up at the bottom of the screen. To do this for a message, just tap on it.
The speech can be a little fast. You can adjust the speed of the text being read by moving the Speaking Rate slider back in the Speech Settings menu.