You can use the Messages app to send messages to people using a cell phone number (as long as the device receiving it can receive text messages) or an email address that has been registered for iMessage. If the recipient has both a cell number and iMessage-enabled email address, the Messages app assumes you want to use iMessage for the message.
When you send a message to more than one person and at least one of those people can use only the cellular network, all the messages are sent via the cellular network and not as an iMessage.
Whether messages are sent via a cellular network or iMessage isn’t terribly important, but there are some differences. If your cellular account has a limit on the number of texts you can send, you should use iMessage when you can because those messages won’t count against your limit. Also, when you use iMessage, you don’t have to worry about a limit on the number of characters in a message. When you send a message via a cellular network, your messages might be limited to 160 characters.
When you send messages to or receive messages from a person or a group of people, you see those messages in a conversation. Every message sent among the same people is added to that conversation. When you send a message to a person or group you haven’t messaged before, a new conversation is created. If you send a message to a person or group you have messaged before, the message is added to the existing conversation.
Messages on an iPhone running iOS 10 can include lots of different elements, including effects, Digital Touches, content from apps, and more. When you include these items in your messages sent to other people using devices running iOS 10 or Macs running MacOS Sierra or later, they’ll be received as you intended.
If they are using devices that aren’t running iOS 10 or Macs running MacOS Sierra, messages with these enhancements might or might not be what you intend. For example, if the recipient is using an older version of the iOS, a Digital Touch message comes in as a static image. If the recipient is using a device not running the iOS at all, such as an Android device, it can be hard to predict what will happen to messages if you enhance them. So, keep the recipients of your messages in mind and adjust their content accordingly.
Creating a New Message and Conversation
You can send messages by entering a number or email address manually or by selecting a contact from your contacts list.
On the Home screen, tap Messages.
Tap New Message (if you don’t see this button, tap the back button in the upper-left corner of the screen until you do). If you haven’t used the Messages app before, you skip this step and move directly to the New Message screen in the next step.
Type the recipient’s name, email address, or phone number. As you type, the app attempts to match what you type with a saved contact or to someone you have previously messaged and shows you a list of suggested recipients. You see phone numbers or email addresses for each recipient on the list. Phone numbers or addresses in blue indicate the recipient is registered for iMessages and your message is sent via that means. Messages to phone numbers in green are sent as text messages over the cellular network. If a number or email address is gray, you haven’t sent any messages to it yet; you can tap it to attempt to send a message. You also see groups you have previously messaged.
Tap the phone number, email address, or group to which you want to send the message. The recipients’ names are inserted into the To field. Or, if the information you want to use doesn’t appear, just type the complete phone number (as you would dial it to make a call to that number) or email address.
If you want to send the message to more than one recipient, tap in the space between the current recipient and the Add button (+) and use steps 3 and 4 to enter the other recipients’ information, either by selecting contacts using the Add button (+), or by entering phone numbers or email addresses. As you add recipients, they appear in the To field. (If you addressed the message to a number or email address that matches a number in your contacts, the contact’s name replaces the number in the To field. If not, the number or email address remains as you entered it.)
Tap in the Message bar, which is labeled iMessage if you entered iMessage addresses or Text Message if you entered a phone number. The cursor moves into the Message bar and you are ready to type your message.
Type the message you want to send in the Message bar.
Tap the Send button (circle with an upward-facing arrow), which is blue if you are sending the message via iMessage or green if you are sending it via the cellular network. The Send status bar appears as the message is sent; when the process is complete, you hear the message sent sound and the status bar disappears.
If the message is addressed to iMessage recipients, your message appears in a blue bubble in a section labeled iMessage. If the person to whom you sent the message enabled his read receipt setting, you see when he reads your message.
If you sent the message via the cellular network instead of iMessage, you see your message in a green bubble in a section labeled Text Message.
When you send a message, you see a new conversation screen if the message was not sent to someone or a group of people with whom you were previously messaging. If you have previously sent messages to the same recipient or recipients, you move back to the existing conversation screen and your new message is added to that conversation instead.
You see icons and the names of each person who received the message; if there are more than two or three people, the icons “stack” on top of each other. (If you sent a message via a cellular text, you only see the person’s name or number.)
Sending Messages in an Existing Conversation
As you learned earlier, when you send a message to or receive a message from one or more people, a conversation is created. You can add new messages to a conversation as follows:
On the Home screen, tap Messages. You see a list of conversations on the Messages screen. If you were previously in a conversation, you see the messages in that conversation and the people involved at the top of the screen instead. Tap the back button, which is the left-facing arrow in the top-left corner of the screen to return to the conversation list on the Messages screen.
Swipe up or down the screen or tap in the Search bar and type names, numbers, or email addresses to find the conversation to which you want to add a message.
Tap the conversation to which you want to add a message. At the top of the screen, you see the people involved in the conversation. Under that, you see the current messages in the conversation.
Tap in the Message bar.
Type your message.
Tap the Send button. Your new message is added to the conversation and sent to everyone participating in the conversation.
On the list, the conversation containing the most recent message you’ve sent or received is at the top; coversations get “older” as you move down the screen.
Applying Effects to Messages You Send
New! The Messages app enables you to apply effects to your messages. Bubble effects apply to the message you send, whereas Screen effects fill the screen when your message is read. There are quite a few effects you can use, and they are easy to apply using the following steps:
Create a new message or add a message to an existing conversation.
Tap and hold on the Send button. The Send with effect screen appears.
Tap Bubble to apply a Bubble effect; to apply a Screen effect instead, skip to step 7.
Tap an effect. It is applied to the current message so you see how it will look.
Tap other effects to see what they do.
To send the message with the current Bubble effect, tap the Send button and skip the rest of these steps. Your message is sent and the recipient sees the effect on the message’s bubble when he opens the message.
Tap Screen to apply a Screen effect.
Swipe to the left or right. Each time you swipe, a new Screen effect is applied and you see it on the screen.
When you find the effect you want to use, tap the Send button. Your message is sent and each recipient sees the effect in the background of the Messages screen when she opens the message.
Including Photos or Video in Messages You Send
New! You can add any image, photo, or video stored on your iPhone in a conversation, or you can take a photo or video to include in a message.
Move into the conversation with the person or people to whom you want to send a photo, or start a new conversation.
If you see the Camera button, skip to step 3; if not, tap the right-facing arrow next to the Message bar.
Tap the Camera button. A panel appears that allows you to add photos or videos in three ways. Perform steps 4 through 11 to send photos you’ve recently taken. Perform steps 12 through 20 to send any photo or video stored on your iPhone. Start with step 21 to take a new photo or video and send it.
Send a photo or video you’ve taken recently by swiping to the left on the photo panel. You see your recent photos and videos.
Tap the first photo or video you want to send. The photo or video is marked with a check mark and is added to the message you are sending.
Swipe to left or right to review more recent photos and videos.
Tap the next photo or video you want to send. It is also marked with a check mark and added to the message.
Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you’ve added all the photos or videos you want to send.
Tap in the Message bar.
Type the comments you want to send with the photos or videos.
Tap the Send button. The photos, videos, and comments are added to the conversation.
Swipe to the right until you see the Photo Library button.
Tap Photo Library.
Swipe up or down the screen to find the source containing the photos or videos you want to send. (For more information about using the Photos app to find and select photos, see Chapter 15, “Viewing and Editing Photos and Video with the Photos App.”)
Tap the source containing the photos or videos you want to send.
Swipe up or down the screen until you see the photo or video you want to send.
Tap the photo or video you want to send.
Tap Choose. You move back to the conversation and see the image in the Message bar.
Type the message you want to send with the photo or video.
Tap the Send button.
If you don’t see the camera window or the Camera button, swipe to the right until you do.
To use the full Camera app to take the photo or video, go on to step 23; to take a photo using the small camera window you see on the screen, position the image that you want to take and tap the Shutter button. The photo is taken and added to the message; skip to step 29.
Tap the Camera button.
Use the Camera app to take the photo or video you want to send. (For more information about taking photos or videos, see Chapter 14, “Taking Photos and Video with Your iPhone.”)
Use the tools you see to modify the photo or video, such as to add markups or edit it (see Chapter 15 for details).
Use the tools you selected in the previous step to make changes to the photo or video. This example shows adding a markup to a photo.
Type the message you want to send with the photo.
Tap the Send button. The photo and message are added to the conversation.
Using Digital Touches in Messages You Send
New! You can enhance your messages with Digital Touches, which are dynamic images you draw with your fingers, or you can use the default images.
Move into the conversation with the person or people to whom you want to send a Digital Touch.
If you see the Digital Touch button, skip to step 3; if not, tap the right-facing arrow next to the Message bar.
Tap the Digital Touch button. The Digital Touch panel opens.
To send one of the default Digital Touches, move to step 8; to create your own Digital Touch, tap the upward-facing arrow to open the Digital Touch screen in full screen mode.
Tap the color you want to use. The current color’s icon has a dot in the center to show it’s selected.
Use your finger to draw or write on the screen. You can change the color at any time; for example, you can use different colors in a drawing or for each letter in a word. Drawing on the Digital Touch screen is much like using colored pencils on paper.
Tap the Send button to send it. The full screen mode Digital Touch pane collapses and you see a preview of your Digital Touch as it sends.
To use a default Digital Touch, tap the right side of the Digital Touch pane. You see a list of of all the gestures you can use to add a Default Touch to a conversation. (This step is optional. If you know the gesture to create the Digital Touch you want to send, skip to step 11.)
Review the default Digital Touches.
Tap the close button (x) to close the list.
Use the finger gesture for the default Digital Touch you want to add to the conversation. You see a preview in the Digital Touch pane, and the Digital Touch is added to the conversation.
Managing Apps in Messages
New! You can use apps to add content to your messages. Before you do that, configure the apps you want to be able to use as follows:
Open Messages and move into a conversation.
Tap the Apps button (if you don’t see this button, tap the right-facing arrow next to the Message bar to reveal it). The App Drawer opens and you see the current app, such as Music.
Tap the Manage button. You see the Store button along with the apps currently installed in the App Drawer.
Tap the Store button. You move into the App Store, but see only apps that can work within the Messages app.
Tap the Manage tab. On this tab, you see apps currently installed on your iPhone that can work within Messages and can be added to or removed from the App Drawer. If any of the apps installed on your iPhone have new or updated Messages capabilities, you see them on the NEW AND UPDATED list. (If none of the apps are new or none have been updated since the last time you viewed this screen, you won’t see this list). You see all of these apps on the ALL list. When an app’s switch is on (green) it is available in the App Drawer, while when the switch is off (white), it is not available.
Set the Automatically Add Apps switch to on (green) if you want apps that can work within Messages and that are installed on your phone to be automatically added to the App Drawer. If you leave this switch off (white), you have to manually add apps to the drawer. I recommend you leave this switch off because automatically adding the apps can clutter the App Drawer with apps you might not use often.
To add a new and updated app to your App Drawer, set its switch to on (green).
Swipe up and down the screen to browse all of the apps available to be shown in the App Drawer.
Display an app in the App Drawer by setting its switch to on (green).
Remove an app from the App Drawer by setting its switch to off (white).
When you’re done managing the apps, tap Done. You return to the App Drawer and see the apps available there.
Tap outside the App Drawer to close it.
Adding Content from Apps to Messages You Send
New! You can use the apps on the Messages’ App Drawer to add content to the messages you send. As you saw in the previous task, there are many different types of apps available and each works according to the type of content you can use. Some are quite simple, such as providing icons or images you can easily add to messages, whereas others are a bit more complicated, for example, you can use the #images app to search for and add images to your messages. Using any of these apps to add content to your messages follows a similar pattern, so once you see how to use one of them, you can use any of them fairly easily.
You can use the #images app to add static images and animated gif images to your messages as follows:
Move into a conversation or start a new one.
Tap the Apps button. The app drawer opens.
Swipe all the way to the right to see the app content you’ve most recently added to messages.
Tap recent content to add it to the current message. The content, such as an icon, is added to the Message bar and you can skip to step 11.
Swipe to the left to browse the installed apps until you see the app you want to use.
Tap the up-facing arrow to expand the app to full screen; this step is optional because you can use the app in the collapsed view in the same way.
Type a search term. Search terms that match what you type are listed.
Tap the search you want to perform.
Swipe up and down the screen to browse all the images that match your search.
Tap the image you want to add to the conversation.
Type a comment you want to send with the content you added; in many cases, you’ll skip this step and just send the content.
Tap the Send button to send the app content you’ve added.
Including Instant Audio in Messages You Send
You can send audio messages that you record via a message by performing the following steps:
Move to the conversation to which you want to add an audio message, or start a new conversation.
Tap and hold on the Microphone in the Message bar (not the one on the keyboard). Recording starts.
Speak your message; keep your finger touching the Microphone while you speak.
When you are done recording, take your finger off the screen.
Tap the Play button to replay your message.
To delete your message, tap Delete (x).
Tap the Send button to send the message. The audio message is added to the conversation and the recipients are able to listen to it.
Adding Your Location to Messages You Send
Location information can be available for the participants in a conversation so you can see where others are, and they can see where you are. You can add your location information to a conversation as follows:
Move to the conversation to which you want to add your location information.
Tap the Info button (i).
To share your current location as a snapshot, tap Send My Current Location. Your current location is captured and sent to the recipients of the message.
To dynamically share your location so that it updates as you move around, tap Share My Location.
Tap how long you want your location information to be shared.
To stop sharing your location, tap Stop Sharing My Location. If you selected to share it for one hour or until the end of the day, location sharing stops automatically at the time you selected.
Using Quick Actions to Send Messages
You can use the Quick Actions feature on iPhones that support 3D Touch with the Messages app as follows:
Press on the Messages icon. The Quick Actions menu appears. You see the three most recent people with whom you’ve been messaging and the New Message command.
Tap the person to whom you want to send a message or tap New Message to send a message to someone not shown on the list. If you choose a person, you move into an existing conversation with that person or a new conversation is started. If you choose New Message, you move to the New Message screen. These tasks are done just like when you start from the Messages app.
Complete and send the message.