When Apple’s next iPhone update launches this fall, iMessage will become more than just a means of sending simple messages and emojis. The company is building a handful of new capabilities into its messaging software that allow iPhone and iPad owners to communicate in different ways.
Here’s a look at all the new features coming to iMessage in iOS 10.
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Use Apps Without Leaving a Conversation
Write and Draw With Your Finger
Tap to Replace Words With Emoji
iOS 10 will eliminate the need to scroll or search through your keyboard’s emoji library. The new iMessage will make it so that you can tap a word to replace it with the corresponding emoji. The keyboard will also suggest emojis as you type, similar to the way Google’s Gboard keyboard for iPhone already does. Emojis will appear three times larger within messaging threads as well.
Hide Sensitive Texts and Photos
Respond to a Message Without Typing
Add Effects to Message Bubbles
Apple wants iMessage users to customize more than just the text and emojis they send each day. With the new iMessage, Apple device owners will be able to add effects to individual chat bubbles. You could, for instance, make a bubble appear larger for emphasis, similar to the Whisper Shout feature in Google’s messaging app Allo.
Launch the Camera Inside Messages
If you want to snap a photo and send it via iMessage, you’ll soon be able to do so from within the Messages app. Tapping the camera icon in Messages will launch the camera viewfinder, so you can take a photo and send it quickly. The camera roll in Messages is also getting a redesign that makes it look more like the iPhone’s Photos app.
Change the Background to a Special Effect
If you’re tired of the plain white backdrop behind your messaging thread, Apple plans to change this in iOS 10. Users will have the option to add special effects to the background when certain messages are sent. A message that says “Happy New Year,” for example, might change the background to exploding fireworks.