Apple has a secret iMessage effect so hidden that there's only one way to unlock it, and it's not by digging through the Messages app's settings, tools, effects, or interface. However, it's used the same way whether you're messaging from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, so it's easy to remember once you know.
Images, emoji, stickers, GIFs, and videos can help express your emotions, feelings, or ideas visually in a text conversation, and you can use Apple's bubble effects to emphasize any of those things. But when you want to add flair to whatever you're saying or visualizing, you'd use Apple's message effects.
Message effects blast animations across the entire screen in iMessage conversations for both the sender and recipient, making them a great way to accentuate specific text or images. In iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS 12, as well as iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS 13, there are eight total message effects, most of which have been around for over five years:
- Echo, Spotlight, Balloons, Confetti, Love, Lasers, Fireworks, Celebration
While few people know about it, there is also a Shooting Star message effect that Apple doesn't advertise anywhere. It's a strange one because it was officially available in iOS 10, 11, 12, and 13, and it was never available on macOS, but it's usable if you know the secret trigger.
To set off the Shooting Star full-screen effect on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, send any of the following greetings in the Messages app. They are usually capitalized, but sending one in all lowercase letters will also trigger the effect.
- "Eid Mubarak"
- "Happy Eid"
After you hit send, a starburst will shoot across the screen from left to right, exploding with a sort of cha-ching sound effect as it falls from the starlit night sky.
Eid Mubarak is a traditional Muslim greeting used mainly for the holy festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr is the "Feast of Breaking the Fast," celebrated at the end of Ramadan when many adult Muslims fast. Just over two months later is Eid al-Adha, the Islam "Feast of the Sacrifice" holiday celebrated when many Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
"Eid" means celebration in Arabic, while "Mubarak" means blessed. Together, the literal translation is "blessed celebration," but it can be translated as "have a blessed holiday," "blessed feast," "blessed festival," or another variation. It's frequently shortened to "Blessed Eid" or "Happy Eid."
Most of the other full-screen message effects for iMessage have keyword or keyphrase triggers that will auto-send an animation. And while there are only two for Shooting Star, most of the others have many different variations. In total, there are over 200 triggers in over 40 different languages.
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