Front and center for iOS 12 this year is Group FaceTime, which allows users to chat with up to 31 additional people at once. While that ambitious feature is sadly delayed, don't cast away FaceTime just yet — you can always pick up your iPhone and start a call with any single contact directly from the Messages app.
Messages 101: How to Send a Friend a Map to Your Current Location or Let Them Track You While Moving
You're at the bar, but your friend can't find you. You could call them, but that wouldn't feel very 2018. Instead, let your iPhone do the talking. Right in the Messages app, you can easily send your friend your current location — all without interrupting the friends you're hanging out with.
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.
Messages 101: How to Search Google for Places, Videos & News to Share, Right from Your Conversations
If you're a fan of Gboard, Google's third-party keyboard for iOS, then you can already search Google, YouTube, and Google Maps from any screen you're on. But if you prefer Apple's stock keyboard or another third-party one on your iPhone, you don't have any Google search options ... at least, until now.
In the "Do Not Disturb" menu in your iPhone's settings, you can choose to allow phone calls from everyone, your favorites, or specific groups. However, this does not apply to text messages, only phone calls, so there's no way to get vibration or sound alert for messages from select contacts — but that doesn't mean there isn't a way.
When somebody is in the middle of rapid firing you some text messages and they become too much for you to bear, you have a few options on your iPhone. You can simply leave the conversation, if it's an iMessage group chat with four or more participants, or you can put the whole message thread on silent, which applies to everyone, no matter if it's iMessage, SMS, MMS, or a group conversation.
Group chats can get out of control. One minute you're in the middle of a thoughtful debate, the next minute everybody is sending gratuitous stickers and emojis like nobody's business. If you're at work or school, this can obviously get a little frustrating as your notifications fill up, even with your iPhone on silent. Luckily, there's a simple option — leave the group.
Group messages are great when you want to talk to multiple people at the same time. However, things can get disorderly real fast in the Messages app, especially if the same person is in multiple group conversations. That's where custom group names come in, which helps you make sense of all those disorganized threads with multiple names/numbers attached.
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: 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.
Every model iPhone since the 6s has boasted a 12-megapixel rear camera. You can take some pretty spectacular, professional-looking photos with it, especially on devices that have more than one rear lens. But the file size of each photo can become a problem when sending as an iMessage, which can eat up data.
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.
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.
If you've accidentally turned on "Read Receipts" for all of your iMessages, there's an easy way to disable it so that no one knows when you're actually reading their incoming messages. You could also pick and choose which conversations can see that you've read their messages if you don't want to kill the feature entirely.
With iOS 9.3.5, as well as all of the versions prior to that, you had two choices when it came to "Read Receipts" for iMessage — either on for everybody or off for everybody. So if you weren't comfortable with one or two of your contacts knowing whether or not you've read their messages, you had to keep the feature disabled and miss out on Read Receipts for people you're a bit closer to.
By default, texts and iMessages are stored forever in the Messages app on your iPhone. But do you really need them to be? It's not too often that you'll need to view a text from a year ago, and keeping all those images, video, and other media — not to mention the messages themselves — can take up valuable storage space on your device.