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.
In Messages, it's pretty hard to miss the timestamps that appear on top of more recent texts, iMessages, or files. But if you want to view the exact times for each text, you'll need to know about a hidden gesture.
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.
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?
You don't need to delete an entire thread in the Messages app to get rid of a couple of texts on your iPhone. With a few taps, you can remove unwanted iMessages and texts, as well as storage-hungry photos and videos, to de-clutter a conversation. And in iOS 13, the process is even easier.
Apple has packed a lot of new features into the iOS 13 update, and practically no core app has gone untouched. The Messages app, in particular, got plenty of love, including new ways to dress and use your Memojis.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News: Google Is Taking on Apple's iMessage with RCS — Here's How Android's New Texting Experience Stacks Up
You've probably heard of RCS messaging. The new standard has been promoted by Google as their answer to iMessage and is the backbone behind the new "Chat" features in Android Messages. With RCS, Android phones will now enjoy enhanced messaging like iPhone users have had for years — but is it really the same?
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 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.
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.
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.