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 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: 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.
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.
Apple's big iOS 14 update includes Memoji improvements such as new hairstyles and headwear to choose from for your personalized Animoji character. Even better, there are now face coverings, so you no longer have to resort to that one masked emoji to get the point across in these times of COVID-19.
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.
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.
Apple is making it easier to keep track of your most important conversations in Messages. Thanks to iOS 14, you can now pin threads to the top of the app, making text messages and iMessages easier to access than ever before. Even if there aren't any recent messages, you can place the focus on the conversations you want.
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.
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.
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.
Apple has introduced several new features to its native Messages app with iOS 14. When it comes to group chats, you can now pin those conversations, use inline replies, and receive notifications only when you're tagged. And if that wasn't good enough, you or anyone else in the group can assign a photo for the entire group.
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.
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.
Your iPhone's audio messages may get you in trouble if they haven't done so already. It's way too easy for your iPhone to start recording without your knowledge, only to send a friend or family member a conversation you're having about them. (Awkward.) Luckily, protecting yourself takes only the flick of a switch.
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.
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.
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: 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.