I’m going to show you 9 fun ways you can stay in touch with your friends using iMessage. There are a lot of fun features released in iMessage version iOS 11 which can make your texting a lot more fun. So, I’m going to show you the best ones and how you can use them.
Let’s get started…
1. Access Your Apps Through the Toolbar
The first new feature released in iOS 11 is the new toolbar at the bottom which you can use to access all the apps you’ve installed into your device. This new app drawer will automatically hide when you go to use the keyboard so it won’t interfere with your texting. When you jump into iMessage, it makes it really easy to go through and find any app you’re looking for after you’ve finished texting.
When you tap one of the apps in the toolbar, it shows you a mini screen of the app whilst you’re still in iMessage. This makes it really easy to browse through apps when you’re waiting for your friend to send a text back.
For example, if you click on the App store in the toolbar, the App store will replace your keyboard so you can browse through apps.
2. Organise Apps in the Toolbar
There is also a new way to organize your apps. When you scroll all the way to the right of the new app drawer, you’ll see a more button which you can tap and it will show you a list of all the apps in the toolbar and all the apps you can add to the toolbar
From here, you can actually change the order of the apps and how they appear in your toolbar.
Everything on the top of this list is what’s on the width of your app drawer. If you see any apps that you don’t like, you can just swipe to the left and hit delete to remove it completely, or if you go ahead and tap on the edit button in the top right-hand corner, there’s a little toggle which will allow you to turn individual apps off.
If you tap the little switch on the right of the apps, you can move your favourite apps to the top. Once you’ve done this, just tap on ‘Save’ in the top right-hand corner of your screen and you’re good to go.
3. Type with the One-Handed keyboard
Do you often lay sideways on your bed and you can’t access your keyboard with both your hands? Well, Apple has found a solution to this problem which can be beneficial to people who do a lot of heavy texting.
You can now easily type with just your right hand or just your left hand if your other hand is occupied by something or you just like texting with one hand.
You can do this by:
- Locating the character on the left of the spacebar
- Hold down the key
- Tap the keyboard you want
When you’re done using your preferred keyboard, you can just tap on that little side caret to the left or right of the keyboard to realign your keyboard back to the centre. This has actually been hiding in here for quite a while but iOS 11 is the first build that actually made it accessible to users.
It was a joke that there was a tweak that would allow you to get this keyboard a little while ago, but it’s really nice to see that Apple actually built it in for everyone.
There is also an emoji one-handed keyboard. This is the exact same as using the one-handed keyboard but with emojis instead and you can access it using the same method as the text keyboard.
You can now react to your texts using one had. This feature does not work with third-party keyboards so be sure to only use the Apple keyboard if you want to access this feature.
4. Bubble Effects and Screen Effects
iOS 10 does have really cool bubble effects and full-screen effects for when you’re sending messages, iOS 11 continues that trend with two new effects. Beside from the ‘Slam’ and ‘Loud’ bubble effects that you saw on iOS 10, iOS 11 gives you two new features: the ‘Gentle’, and ‘Send with Invisible ink’ bubble effects.
- Gentle – Sends a tiny bubble that meekly slips into place.
- Invisible ink – Covers the bubble in animated noise and blur until you swipe it out of the way.
Apple has also revealed two new full-screen effects. The first one is called ‘Echo’. This literally echoes your words all around the screen and the second one is called a ‘Spotlight’ because it gives a little spotlight to your text and then falls back off the screen.
Both of them are really cool but I am more partial to Echo over Spotlight because it feels really cool especially when you also have the haptic feedback going on when you actually send a message.
5. Pay Friends with Apple Pay
One big thing that Apple did not disappoint everyone in is the addition of Apple Pay for purchasing. That’s right, you can now use the Apple pay button which will allow you to automatically pay someone. It’ll even auto-populate the amount that you want to pay. For example, If someone tells you that you owe them $30 in the iMessage app, Apple pay will auto-populate with $30 and you can just hit ‘Pay’ and they’ll receive their money.
If someone sends you money back, you can save that money into an Apple pay cash card. You can also use that to pay for things such as apps or you can just withdraw it back into your bank account.
6. Hide Alerts When you Receive a Text
Have you ever received a text from someone that’s really annoying and you don’t want to hear from all the time or perhaps it’s just a telemarketer? Well, you can now go ahead and hide alerts for individual people that you don’t want to get notifications every time that person sends you a new message.
You can do this by:
- Going into a text message
- Tap the ‘i’ button in the top right
- Toggle the Hide Alerts button on until it turns green
7. Automatic Suggestions
Apple has released a new iMessage feature on iOS 11 which predicts the next text and makes a suggestion when someone texts you asking for something specific.
When somebody asks you something such as “what’s your address” or “what’s your phone number”, the quick type keyboard will give you a suggestion to reply to that message. This will now work on the Apple watch for contacts as well as locations.
8. Backup your Text messages with iCloud
One of the other really big changes to iMessages is in the settings where you can enable iMessage in iCloud or messages in the cloud. This will allow you to actually store all of them in your iCloud account which will help free up a lot more space locally on your iPhone. It also means things stay in check. So if I were to delete a message on my iPhone, it’s also gets deleted on your iPad.
9. View Secondary Characters on your iPad
The last feature in iMessage is going to be for iPad users. This is closely related to the one-handed keyboard but this time, when you pull down a certain letter on the keyboard, you’ll see a bunch of different characters specific and related to that letter.
So for instance, if you need you to type number, instead of having to hold shift and then going to the number keyboard, you can just pull down the letter and it will just type that character for you. It makes it a bit quicker when you’re typing because you can just access all the characters from one keyboard rather than accessing a different keyboard
That is all of the great new features for the iMessages app. Comment down below your favourite feature for iMessage.
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