iOS 10 Messaging – Cooler Than Skype, Snapchat, and WhatsApp All Together

ios10That’s right folks, you heard it here first! (Well, we hope so). The biggest feature in iOS 10 is its incredibly upgraded messaging experience. It’s so huge, we decided to give it a whole article. Let’s go!

Text Effects: Bubble effects, screen effects
Bigger Emojis
Words become emojis
Sticker packs and Apps
Drawing on pictures and Digital Touch
Link previews
Handwritten messages
Individual read receipt control

Text Effects:
There are two types- bubble effects and screen effects.
To use a bubble effect, first type your message, then force touch on the blue up arrow (or long press on the send button for non 3D Touch) to display the four options: SLAM, LOUD, gentle, and (invisible ink). Slam literally crashes into the receiver’s screen, complete with a dust cloud. Loud mimics yelling and even makes the message shake in anger (User discretion advised). Gentle creeps onto the screen, starting off small and growing in size (for that difficult news you’d rather not say). Invisible ink is the most interesting- in order to actually read the words, the receive must swipe over the message (super stealth mode!).
Screen effects are activated in the same was as bubble effects. Once the menu appears, select the screen tab at the top of your screen. To switch between your options (Balloons – you’ve all seen that iPhone 7 commercial right?, Confetti, Lasers, Fireworks, and Shooting Star) simply swipe left or right. Select one and send that fanfare on its way!
Sidenote: These effects are actually a fabulous way to torment someone…

Bigger Emojis
Yep, the title basically says it all. Send an emoji by itself and it’ll be huuuge. Now you can magnify the salt of your eye-roll.

Word-Emoji Conversion
On a related note, iOS10 helps you catch every ’emoji opportunity.’ Type a message and then switch to the emoji keyboard- messaging will highlight in orange all the words that have corresponding emojis; all you have to do is click the word for an automatic switch. Perhaps this will increase the discretion of your messages? Really, we have the sneaking suspicion that this is a ploy to bring Wingdings into mainstream use.

Sticker Packs and Apps
iMessage now has its own app store, so you can download apps and different sticker packs (just like Kakao, congrats Apple for catching up) specifically for use in messaging. Stickers can be sent alone as messages (like emojis) or you can add them to images that you send. Apps in messaging facilitate actions like sharing music (Apple Music app) or movie times or sports scores (ESPN app), so you don’t have to attempt to paste links (if you find that irritating as do).

Link Previews
If you do, however, still want to send a link, the experience has been greatly improved by thumbnails! So at least the link won’t be a mysterious portal anymore.

Drawing on Pictures and Digital Touch
Drawing on pictures (Markup) is simple now – just click on the picture before you send it, select the Markup option, and go to town! Digital Touch is more versatile. You can add it to pictures and photos as well (enter full screen mode with Digital Touch, select the camera, then record a video or take a picture – add the effects while you record), but it can also be used as a stand-alone. You have an option to draw a picture (like Markup, but minus the preexisting photo) or send animated images such as a beating heart or a kiss (advanced emojis for all you romantics).

Handwritten Messages
Along the same lines as Markup and Digital Touch, the finger painting package is complete with handwritten messages. This is ideal for character-based languages as well as people who can’t be bothered to pick up their fingers (like me). Just turn your phone to the dreaded landscape mode (or is it just me who hates that) for the canvas to appear (or press the button with the squiggly line if it’s not automatic).

More lazy messaging! Tapbacks are reply shortcuts- a set of common messages that you probably type alllll the time (a heart, a question mark, thumbs up or thumbs down, exclamation points, and a “haha”). Just double tap or long hold on the message to which you wish to reply, and your options will appear. Pick one, and it’ll attach to the message you received (now there’s no confusion about which statement you’re replying to!).

Individual Read Receipt
*DRUM ROLL PLEASE* You can now… control your read receipt! Want to send a message by ignoring a text? Turn it on! Don’t want your group to know you did indeed see that question? Turrrn it off! Privacy has now been restored (and possibly dignity?).

Well, that was our splendid zip through iOS10 Messaging. If you enjoyed the kid ride, try out the full rollercoaster – but remember: despite the iPhone7 commercial, you do not need the new phone to try out all the cool features of iOS10. If you are considering the new phone, however, check out our review of the iPhone7 for some guidelines in deciding whether to make the jump.

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