Apple Messages 101

How To: Announce Messages with Siri Not Working on iOS 13.2? Here's the Fix

Apple added "Announce Messages with Siri" with the release of iOS 13.2, and it came as a welcome surprise for me; I missed the feature from its initial run during iOS 13 beta testing. However, while users online gleefully showed off their newfound Announce Messages with Siri capabilities, I was frustrated to see that I didn't have the setting, even though I just updated my iPhone to 13.2. So, what's the fix?

How To: Disable Message Effects from Auto-Playing on Your iPhone

Message effects in iMessage lets you add a touch of flair to otherwise bland communications. With the feature, you can complement a birthday wish with a stream of balloons, send a congratulatory text along with a shower of confetti, or make the chat bubble slam itself in the thread. If you're on the receiving end, however, they may be distracting and even jarring.

How To: Filter Unknown Senders in iMessage to Block Unwanted Notifications & Keep Your Messages App Clean

If your job revolves around prospective clients and customers, you may frequently receive iMessages from unknown numbers. Although this isn't necessarily a bad thing, being bombarded with messages from strangers can create disarray in your inbox if you're not careful. Luckily, Apple makes it easier to organize your conversations by allowing you to filter unknown numbers in the Messages app.

How To: Tag People in Reminders to Get Alerts When Chatting with Them in iOS 13's Messages App

While iOS 13 might have made waves for some of its more prominent features — most notably system-wide Dark Mode — some of the more interesting tools lie with its smaller, unannounced updates. One of those updates is a new Reminders setting to tag contacts in a to-do task so that iOS pings you when texting that person in Messages.

How To: Change Your Profile Picture & Display Name for iMessage in iOS 13

For quite some time, popular messaging apps such WhatsApp and Skype have let you set a profile picture along with a display name to make you more instantly identifiable to loved ones and colleagues. Apple has finally caught up with this fad in iOS 13. That means you can set a custom name and profile image within iMessage so others can quickly view who's messaging them at a glance.

How To: There's Finally a Way to Disable Those Annoying Memoji Stickers in Messages on iPhone

There's a lot to love about iOS 13. Permanent Memoji stickers though? Not so much. Whether you love or hate these personalized icons, most of us can probably agree it's super annoying Apple doesn't let you disable them in the "Frequently Used" section of the Emoji keyboard. Every time you go to use an emoji, you have to see the stickers, whether you want to or not. That is, until now.

How To: Bulk Delete Messages Faster with This Hidden iOS 13 Gesture

On the surface, deleting conversations in Messages seems harder in iOS 13 after Apple removed the "Edit" button on the main page. Fortunately, they added a new gesture that lets you remove entire threads and individual messages with ease.

How To: Annoy Your Friends on iMessage with a Barrage of Automated Texts

Back in its infancy, the App Store was filled with text bomb apps that allowed users to send a barrage of text messages to friends, family, and foes. It was a fun way to annoy people, but Apple quickly scrubbed the apps because of technical issues. Although text bombs are still banished, you can now use a Siri Shortcut to send text bombs through iMessage on your iPhone.

How To: Hide Contact Photos from Your Apple Messages List & Conversations to Declutter the Interface

The Messages app on iOS features contact photos for every one of your conversations — including group chats. Even if you don't have a picture for a specific contact, their initials will appear instead. For non-contacts, a generic profile avatar appears. These give threads a bit of flare, but if you're looking for extra privacy or don't enjoy the look, you can easily hide those images and icons.

How To: Stop Audio Messages from Self-Destructing in iMessage So You Can Keep Them Forever

Apple has several ways for you to communicate in the Messages app aside from texting — and that includes audio messages. You can send a voice recording via iMessage by long-pressing the microphone icon just right of the input field and speaking. However, by default, these audio messages self-destruct after two minutes, which isn't good if you want them archived.

How To: Make Texts & iMessages Stand Out on Your iPhone with Bold Subject Lines

The subject line is a crucial part of an email, but you don't see it very often in texts. That's mostly because many people don't even know it can be done, and even if they do, why would they use it? Just like with emails, subject lines can make iMessages and SMS texts seem more important and more professional. Plus, they can help with organization and searching past messages, as well as make text bold.

How To: Use Business Chat on Your iPhone to Securely Interact with Companies via iMessage

Apple first announced Business Chat, a new way for customers to communicate with companies, at WWDC 2017. While Business Chat did not arrive with the initial release of iOS 11, Apple pushed it out in iOS 11.3 so companies can offer customer service in a whole new way, and it works pretty much the same in iOS 12 and higher as it did back then.

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