Apple Messages

How To: Make Perfect Shapes in Notes, Drawings & Annotations with iOS 14's New Shape Recognition Tool

There's a set of drawing tools that have been available for a long time on the iPhone that helps you create handwritten notes and sketches. It's great when you need a free-form way to capture your ideas, and now it's even better. Apple added shape recognition in iOS 14 so that you can now draw geometrically perfect shapes using finger doodles, giving the older shapes tool a run for its money.

How To: Stop Getting Notifications When Tagged in iMessage Threads in iOS 14

One of iOS 14's more exciting features lets you tag someone in a group iMessage chat in the same way you would @ someone on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Even if the conversation is muted, you can get notified when you're mentioned, which helps you jump in only when needed. But if you want complete silence, then disable contact tagging notifications altogether.

How To: Tag Contacts in iMessage Group Chats on Your iPhone in iOS 14

Directing a message at a specific person in a group conversation, or to a select few people in the group, can be difficult if you're in a particularly active or hectic chat. Notifications and badges on your iPhone can help you keep track of important messages, but it's still easy to miss one meant for you and not the entire group — which is why you can now mention contacts, or get tagged, in Messages on iOS 14.

How To: Get Notifications Only for Messages You're Tagged In on Your iPhone

Group chats, particularly ones with many active participants, could bombard your iPhone with hundreds of texts in a single day. It can get overwhelming real quick unless you take precautions to hide all notifications for that conversation. But there's another option now, one that'll make sure you only get alerts for the messages that matter to you most in the thread.

How To: Audio Messages Keep Disappearing in iMessages? Do This to Stop Them from Self-Destructing

Introduced in the Messages app back in iOS 8, audio messages are a fun way to spice up an iMessage thread when you're bored with text, emoji, and GIFs. However, it can be frustrating to lose an important, funny, or otherwise-interesting sound clip because iOS auto-deletes it two minutes after you send or listen to it. Thankfully, there is a way to stop this from happening.

How To: Stop Getting Those Annoying 'Share Your Name & Photo' Alerts in iMessage Threads on Your iPhone

Your iPhone comes with a feature that allows you to share your name and photo with anyone you iMessage in Messages. It's a useful feature if you want people to see a customized name or fun image that you pick, but seeing all those "Share your name and photo" alerts in conversations can get real annoying quickly. There's a way to stop that from happening, thankfully.

How To: You May Be Sharing Your iPhone's Location with Other People — Here's How to Stop It

Sharing your iPhone's real-time location can be very useful when you want family and friends to know where you're at or your estimated time of arrival. By doing so, they can track you when you can't or don't want to update them manually. Depending on how you shared your location, however, they might still be able to track your exact coordinates after the initial share.

How To: Stop Photos from Automatically Creating iCloud Links When Sharing Images & Videos from Your iPhone

If you use iCloud Photos, Apple's iCloud link feature is meant to make sharing multiple photos and videos faster and easier, but it's not as great as you might think. Luckily, there's a way to stop your iPhone from creating them automatically, as long as you're running iOS 13 or later.

How To: Group Texts Split into Separate Conversations on Your iPhone? Here's the Fix

Ah, the dreaded "green bubble" group chat. All it takes is one non-iPhone contact to turn an entire thread from iMessage paradise to SMS slog. Normally, it isn't that bad since the group chat still functions. However, sometimes, you end up getting messages individually instead of in a single group thread. Before you go blaming your Android friends, know that the issue is probably on your end.

How To: Eliminate Unwanted Texts & iMessages on Your iPhone to Avoid Spam, Scams & Phishing Attacks

Next to spam calls, few things are more annoying than being inundated with spam, scam, and smishing texts. Your iPhone's Messages app should be a place for your friends and family to stay in touch, not a minefield of phishing attacks, malicious links, and viruses. Luckily, there are quite a few methods to block and report your way to a more spam-free iPhone.

How To: Send & Receive SMS/MMS Text Messages from Your iPhone on Any of Your Other Apple Devices

One of the best reasons to enter Apple's ecosystem is iMessage, where you can communicate more securely with other Apple users and send and receive chats across all of your connected iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac devices. While those blue bubble conversations sync across devices, the green bubbles — SMS and MMS texts — remain on your iPhone alone unless you change a setting manually.

How To: Respond to Specific Messages in Group Threads & Single Chats Using Inline Replies in iOS 14

A group conversation can be a chaotic place. Even with a small number of people, you still may get more messages than you can keep track of on your iPhone. What makes it even worse is trying to sort through all of the conversations within conversations. Apple, however, wants to make things easier on all of us, which is why iOS 14 allows you to respond to specific iMessages using inline replies.

How To: Use Siri to Send Audio Messages via iMessage or Texts in iOS 14

Siri has slimmed down in iOS 14. The assistant now appears as a compact icon at the bottom of the screen instead of hijacking your entire iPhone. It's a welcome change to a user interface that has always felt a bit clunky, but just because Siri's UI has simplified doesn't mean that its capabilities have too. On top of several new features, Siri now lets you record and send audio messages using only your voice.

How To: The Fastest Way to Share Your Location via Messages on Your iPhone

Apple makes it simple to share your location with your family and friends using tools built into the "info" page for each conversation thread in Messages. With those tools, you can send your current location or share trackable real-time coordinates. But iOS always has a few hidden tricks to make things easier than they seem, and that's precisely the case if all you need to do is share your current location.

How To: Organize Messages on Your iPhone by Grouping Threads Together into Specific Categories Like Family & Work

There's not much to the Messages app for iPhone when it comes to finding the right conversations. It did get some enhanced search capabilities in iOS 13, but beyond that, there's no good way to find the threads you need aside from just scrolling through the main page, which lists newer ones first. However, there is a tweak that gives you the power to group like-minded chats together.

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