iMessage 101: 6 Essential Features Every New User Should Know

Definitely one of the best messaging apps available is iMessages, which features emoticons for reacting to messages and expiring audio messages. Every time it delivers a new software update, Apple adds new functionality to the Messages app. Although there hasn’t been a formal statement regarding the Messages app’s release for Android, it received some major improvements with the most recent iOS 17 update. Included in this is Check In, a safety function that lets you share your current location with a contact to make sure you get to your destination without incident.

Definitely one of the best messaging apps available is Messages, which features emoticons for reacting to messages and expiring audio messages. Every time it delivers a new software update, Apple adds new functionality to the Messages app. Although there hasn’t been a formal statement regarding the Messages app’s release for Android, it received some major improvements with the most recent iOS 17 update. Included in this is Check In, a safety function that lets you share your current location with a contact to make sure you get to the location without issue.

Here are the 6 Imessage Essential Features Every New User Should Know

  1. Reactions: Beyond the “Haha

Have you ever wanted to reply to a message without really entering something? Maybe you would just like to respond to the message when you have a little more time on your hands, or maybe you would like to let the person know you’ve received their message without the annoying “Read” indicator. In situations like this, message reactions come in quite handy. Locate the message you want to respond to and long-press it to use it. 6 possible emotions should now appear in a pop-up window: laugh, love, dislike, exclamation, and question mark. Select a symbol by tapping on it, based on how you’re feeling.

After responding to the message, the pop-up will disappear, and an icon displaying your response will show up in the message’s corner. Don’t worry if you unintentionally sent the incorrect reaction or responded to the incorrect message; all you have to do is follow the previous instructions to reverse the reaction. Tap on a different reaction to modify it or tap on the reaction you previously selected to remove it when the pop-up menu displays once more.

2. Taming the Group Chat Chaos: Inline Replies

When the others were enjoying a pleasant game of roasting each other in a group chat, do you recall the moment when you felt like you had made a huge comeback? But as soon as you sent it, you noticed that the topic had already shifted and that everyone in the group chat was talking about something entirely different. Sending your answer now in such a circumstance would be strange, and you would have to take some time to clarify what your group had been talking about earlier.

Alternatively, you can respond to individual messages by using inline replies. Locate the message you want to respond to, then long-press it to accomplish that. From the menu that displays, select the Reply option, input your reply, and press the Send button. In addition, you have the option to swipe right on the message you choose to respond to. To resume your chat, tap the area of your screen that has become blurry after sending your response.

3. Blue vs. Green: Decoding the iMessage Mystery

If you’re new to the Apple ecosystem, you might be wondering why most of your texts are blue, but some of them show up as green bubbles. The two distinct colors of the message bubbles help you distinguish between an SMS and an iMessage even though you cannot change their color.

iMessage is now exclusive to Apple customers. Apple has stated that RCS for the iPhone will be available soon, but it does not currently have any plans to extend iMessage to Android. This implies that only Apple device owners with iMessage enabled can receive messages from you. Consequently, messages sent to anyone who fits into this group will appear as blue bubbles. However, the message will be transmitted as an SMS in a green bubble if the recipient has an Android smartphone or if iMessage is disabled.

To be able to send and receive iMessages, a dependable Wi-Fi or cellular connection is required. Even with iMessage enabled, you can still send an urgent message as an SMS if you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. Send a message as usual, long-press it, and select Send as Text Message to accomplish this. Check to see if the Send arrow is blue or green before sending a message to determine if it will be delivered as an SMS or an iMessage.

  • Blue bubbles: iMessages, sent exclusively between Apple devices with iMessage enabled. These messages enjoy features like reactions, typing indicators, and higher quality photo/video sharing.
  • Green bubbles: SMS/MMS messages, sent to non-Apple devices or those without iMessage enabled. These messages lack the fancy features of iMessages and may incur carrier charges.

4. Silence the Spam: Filtering Unwanted Messages

Receiving unwanted texts is one of the most frustrating aspects of using messaging apps. Nobody likes to hear their phone ding with notifications all day, whether they are from someone they know well or a total stranger. You may filter out undesirable messages from senders you don’t recognize with the Messages app. To activate this function, open the iPhone Settings app and navigate to the Messages area. Once you reach Filter Unknown Senders, continue scrolling and turn it on. You will no longer receive notifications about or be sent messages directly by unknown senders. They will be delivered to a different folder instead.

They’ll go into a folder named Known Senders if you respond to their message or add them to your contacts. You can also file a complaint about spam or unpleasant communications you’ve been receiving directly with Apple. Remember that the process does change based on whether you have read the message or not. If so, a Report Junk link should to show up at the bottom of a message from an unidentified sender. All you have to do is click the link, select Delete, and then click Report Junk. In contrast, swipe left on the message, hit the delete icon, and then select Delete and Report Junk if you haven’t opened it yet.

5. Audio Messages: When Texting Fails

Writing what you need to express can be difficult at times. Similarly, it’s not always the most convenient alternative to phone the person you want to talk to instead of texting them to convey a message. It happens frequently that the individual you are attempting to reach will not answer your calls.

Thankfully, audio messaging is another function that the Messages app, like many others, offers. Open an existing discussion or create a new one, then press the Plus icon to utilize the feature. To record your message, tap Audio. Now, you can tap the arrow icon to send, the cancel icon to remove your message, the add icon to add more information, or the play symbol to listen to your audio message before sending it.

The audio messaging function in the Messages app is unique from other applications in that it immediately deletes two minutes after it is sent or two minutes after the recipient listens to it. Still, by selecting Keep, you can save a copy of the communication.

6. Read Receipts: The Art of Stealthy Texting

It’s likely that you have had a situation where you unintentionally clicked on a message that you didn’t want to. Since the person who texted you will be able to identify you opened their message, you will frequently be required to respond in these situations. Thankfully, you can disable read receipts in the Messages app if you receive an iMessage text and want to stay out of awkward situations like this or just reply to it later without alerting the sender that you have done so. This feature shows the sender whether you have read their message and also shows the time that you have read it.

Using the Settings app, you can disable read receipts for individual conversations or for all contacts. Keep in mind that this is a two-way street: if someone has disabled read receipts, you won’t be able to determine whether they have viewed your messages.

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