Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Working with Messages

As you send and receive messages, the interaction you have with each person or group becomes a separate conversation. A conversation consists of all the messages that have gone back and forth. You manage your conversations from the Messages screen.

Managing Messages Conversations

Use the Messages screen to manage your messages.

  • cir_1.jpg On the Home screen, tap Messages.

  • The Messages screen showing conversations you have going appears, or you move into the conversation you were most recently using (tap the left-facing arrow at the top of the screen to move back to the conversation list). Conversations containing new messages appear at the top of the list. The name of the conversation is the name of the person or people associated with it, or it might be labeled as Group if the app can’t display the names. If a contact can’t be associated with the person, you see the phone number or email address you are conversing with instead of a name.

  • cir_2.jpg Swipe up and down the list to see all the conversations.

  • cir_3.jpg Tap a conversation you want to read or reply to. The conversation screen appears; the name of the screen is the people with whom you are conversing, either by name if they are a contact or email address or phone number if they aren’t.

  • cir_4.jpg Read the new messages or view other new content in the conversation. Your messages are on the right side of the screen in green (cell network) or blue (iMessage), whereas the other people’s messages are on the left in gray. Messages are organized so the newest message is at the bottom of the screen.

  • cir_5.jpg Swipe up and down the conversation screen to see all the messages it contains.

  • cir_6.jpg To add a new message to the conversation, tap in the Message bar, type your message, and tap the Send button.

  • cir_7.jpg Swipe down to scroll up the screen and move back in time in the conversation.

  • cir_8.jpg To see details about the conversation, tap the Info button (i). The Details screen appears. At the top of the screen, you see location information for the people with whom you are texting if it is available.

  • cir_9.jpg If you are working with a group message and want to give it a name, tap Enter a Group Name. If you are working with a conversation involving one other person or don’t want to name the group, skip to step 11.

  • cir_10.jpg Enter the name of the group, and tap Done.

  • cir_11.jpg To place a voice call or audio-only FaceTime call to one of the participants in the conversation, tap the phone icon. If the person has a phone number configured, you’re prompted to choose Voice Call or FaceTime Audio. When you make a choice, that call is placed. If the person only has an email address, an audio-only FaceTime call is placed over the Internet. You move into the Phone or FaceTime app and use that app to complete the call. (See Chapter 8, “Communicating with the Phone and FaceTime Apps,” for the details about those apps.) Move to the Home screen and tap Messages or use the App Switcher to return to the Messages app.

  • cir_12.jpg Send a private message to one of the participants by tapping the Messages button.

  • cir_13.jpg Place a FaceTime video call by tapping the Video Camera icon. You move into the FaceTime app to complete the call. When you’re done, move to the Home screen and tap Messages or use the App Switcher to return to the Messages app.

  • cir_14.jpg To view a participant’s contact information or send an email, tap the person whose information you want to view.

  • cir_15.jpg Work with the contact information as described in Chapter 7.

  • cir_16.jpg Tap the back button to return to the Details screen.

Receiving and Reading Messages on an iPhone Plus

The larger screen on the iPhone Plus provides some additional functionality that is unique to it. You can access this by holding the iPhone Plus horizontally when you use the Messages app.

  • cir_1.jpg Open the Messages app and hold the iPhone so it is oriented horizontally. The window splits into two panes. On the left is the Navigation pane, where you can move to and select conversations you want to view. When you select a conversation in the left pane, its messages appear in the Content pane on the right.

  • cir_2.jpg Swipe up or down the Navigation pane to browse the conversations available to you. Notice that the two panes are independent. When you browse the left pane, the right pane doesn’t change.

  • cir_3.jpg Tap the conversation containing messages you want to read. The messages in that conversation appear in the Content pane on the right.

  • cir_4.jpg Swipe up and down the Content pane to read the messages in the conversation.

  • cir_5.jpg Listen to embedded audio, use app content (such as to play music), or work with attachments just like when you hold the iPhone vertically.

  • cir_6.jpg To add a message to the conversation, tap in the Send bar, type your message, and tap Send. Of course, you can embed audio, attach photos or video, add content from apps, or send your location just as you can when using Messages when you hold the iPhone vertically.

  • cir_7.jpg Work with the conversation’s details by tapping the Info button (i).

  • cir_8.jpg Change conversations by tapping the conversation you want to view.

Using 3D Touch for Messages

You can use the 3D Touch feature with the Messages app as follows:

  • cir_1.jpg Browse your messages.

  • cir_2.jpg Tap and hold on a message in which you are interested. A Peek of that message appears.

  • cir_3.jpg Review the preview of the messages that appear in the Peek.

  • cir_4.jpg Open the message so you can read the conversation of which it is a part by pressing down slightly harder until it pops open. Use the steps in the earlier task to read it (skip the rest of these steps).

  • cir_5.jpg See actions you can perform on the message by swiping up on the Peek.

  • cir_6.jpg Tap the action you want to perform, such as Thank you, to reply to the message with that message. If you tap Custom, you can create a custom reply to the message as you can when you view the conversation.

Browsing Attachments to Conversations

As photos and videos are added to a conversation, they are collected so you can browse and view them at any time:

  • cir_1.jpg Move to the conversation in which you want to browse attachments.

  • cir_2.jpg Tap the Info button (i).

  • cir_3.jpg Swipe up until you see the Images and Attachments tabs.

  • cir_4.jpg Tap Images to see images attached to the conversation or Attachments to work with other types of attachments (such as documents).

  • cir_5.jpg Swipe up and down on the attachments until you see one you want to view.

  • cir_6.jpg Tap the attachment you want to view.

  • cir_7.jpg View the attachment, such as looking at a photo.

  • cir_8.jpg Tap Done to return to the Details screen.

Working with Messages from People You Might Not Know

As you use Messages, it is likely you’ll receive messages from people who aren’t in your contacts or who you haven’t sent messages to before. The Messages app can filter these messages for you and put them on the Unknown Senders tab so you can easily identify messages that are from people who you might not know.

To use this functionality, the Filter Unknown Senders switch on the Messages Settings screen must be turned on (green). (The details of configuring Messages settings are provided in “Setting Your Text and iMessage Preferences” earlier in this chapter.) When this switch is on, you see two tabs in the Messages app. The Contacts & SMS tab lists conversations with people who are contacts or with whom you have communicated previously. The Unknown Senders tab lists conversations from people who aren’t contacts or with whom you haven’t communicated previously. (If the Filter Unknown Senders switch is off, you don’t see these tabs, which is the case for most of the figures in this chapter.)

The messages that get put on the Unknown Senders tab are usually either from someone who you do know, but who you don’t have a contact created for and whom you’ve never messaged with; someone who mistakenly sent a message to the wrong address; or someone who is trying to contact you for nefarious purposes.

If you enable the Filter Unknown Senders feature, you can work with “suspicious” messages as follows:

  • cir_1.jpg Open the Messages app.

  • cir_2.jpg Tap the Unknown Senders tab.

  • cir_3.jpg Tap a message to read it to determine if it is a legitimate message for you.

  • cir_4.jpg Review the identification of the sender as best Messages can determine it, such as an email address.

  • cir_5.jpg Read the message.

  • cir_6.jpg If the message is from someone you don’t recognize and don’t want to receive future messages from, tap Report Junk. The sender’s message is deleted from the Messages app and the associated email address or phone number is blocked so you won’t receive any more messages from the sender.

  • cir_7.jpg If you do recognize the person and want to receive future messages normally, tap the Info button (i). On the resulting Details screen, tap the sender’s contact information and then tap Create New Contact to create a new contact for the person or Add to Existing Contact to update a current contact with new information. (For information about creating or updating contacts, see Chapter 7.)

Responding to a Message with Icons

New! You can quickly respond to messages with an icon as follows:

  • cir_1.jpg View a conversation.

  • cir_2.jpg If you are using an iPhone with 3D Touch, press and hold on a message you want to respond to; if you are using a non-3D Touch phone, just touch and hold on a message. You can respond to any message, even if it’s one you sent.

  • cir_3.jpg Tap the icon you want to add to the message; for example, tap the thumbs-down icon to indicate you don’t like a message. The icon you select is added to the message.

Deleting Messages and Conversations

Old text conversations never die, nor do they fade away (if you have your Keep Messages setting set to Forever, that is). All the messages you receive from a person or that involve the same group of people stay in the conversation. Over time, you can build up a lot of messages in one conversation, and you can end up with lots of conversations. (If you set the Keep Messages setting to be 30 Days or 1 Year, messages older than the time you set are deleted automatically.)

When a conversation gets too long, if you just want to remove specific messages from a conversation, or, if you want to get rid of messages to free up storage space, take these steps:

  • cir_1.jpg Move to a conversation containing an abundance of messages.

  • cir_2.jpg If you are using an iPhone with 3D Touch, press and hold on a message you want to delete; if you are using a non-3D Touch phone, just touch and hold on a message to be deleted.

  • cir_3.jpg Tap More. The message on which you tapped is marked with a check mark to show it is selected.

  • cir_4.jpg Tap other messages you want to delete. They are marked with a check mark to show you have selected them.

  • cir_5.jpg Tap the Trash Can button.

  • cir_6.jpg Tap Delete X Messages, where X is the number of messages you have selected. The messages are deleted and you return to the conversation.

Deleting Conversations

If a conversation’s time has come, you can delete it.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account