Apple is packing lots of new features into the iOS 13 update — practically no core app has gone untouched. The Messages app, in particular, got plenty of love here, including new ways to dress and use your Memoji.
Beyond the improvements and additions made to Memoji, Messages also received numerous enhancements to its interface for a better overall look and feel, in addition to new features to make it even more user-friendly. We'll go over the changes below, all of which should make your iMessage experience a lot more fun.
Apple's interactive emojis got more customization features in iOS 13. When you go to create a Memoji in the Messages app, you now have the following tools along with more stylistic elements available to you in addition to those already available in iOS 12:
- Cheeks (Blush)
- Beauty Spot
- 26 New Hairstyles
- 5 New Eyelashes
- 1 New Eyebrow
- Brow Piercings
- Forehead Mark
- Nose Piercings
- Mouth Piercings
- Tongue Piercings
- 16 New Earrings
- 45 New Facial Hair
- 25 New Eyewear
- 14 New Headwear
The makeup tools allow you to choose from 15 different base colors, but you can go further and customize the saturation and lightness of each shade. Some of the new teeth options include a gap tooth, missing tooth, and even gold crowns.
Once you've set up your new and improved Memoji, you'll be glad to know you can take them outside of the Messages app. Now, while using the default keyboard, you'll be able to access a "Memoji Stickers" section in other Apple apps like Mail, or even third-party apps like WhatsApp.
These stickers essentially embed themselves as images, so they'll work in almost any messaging or communications app. In a lot of ways, they're like Apple's version of Bitmoji. Just keep in mind that the feature requires an iPhone that's running on an A9 chip or newer — in other words, an iPhone 6S or newer.
Memoji trace their roots to Animoji, which are pre-made emoji that can track your face with Apple's AR capabilities. In iOS 13, there are three new Animoji characters to choose from, bringing the total to 27 (up from 24 in iOS 12). These new additions comprise of a mouse, octopus, and cow.
Prior to iOS 13, the way you showed up in other people's Messages app was up to them. They would choose your name and photo when they added you as a contact, and from then on, when you messaged them, that's what would appear.
With iOS 13, you can now customize your avatar and display name in Messages, and input your desired name, photo, or Memoji to essentially create an iMessage profile. When you start up a new conversation with someone, Messages can automatically populate this information (including the avatar) into the other person's Messages app.
You're also able to choose who gets to see your "profile" when you message them to ensure your privacy, and opt to share it with everyone, only your contacts, or just once. For more on this, be sure to check out the link below.
When you're in a message thread and you tap the person or group's avatar at the top of the page, you'll reveal a little "i" button, among other controls. Tapping this button takes you to the Details Pane, which gives you several options like opening a FaceTime chat with the other party, calling them, customizing alerts for the conversation, and it even a list of all the file attachments from the thread.
Understandably, with as many features as are included in the Details Pane, it's a little messy. With iOS 13, Apple has cleaned up this menu to make it more organized and easier to use, and now instantly show you shared links and photos in one page.
If you swipe down from the top of your Messages list, you'll expose a search bar where you can look for messages that contained certain keywords. In iOS 13, before you even start typing into this search field, you'll see messages, links, photos, and contacts that appeared in your recent Messages activity. So chances are, you'll find what you're looking for without actually having to search!
To make searching even easier, you can now open a message thread and tap a button to search within that thread. This subtle change in the search function makes it a lot easier to find messages that a certain person sent, since you're not searching your entire Messages history.
This one is more of a keyboard feature than a Messages feature, but if you use the default keyboard to send texts, Apple's latest improvement for this all-important tool will vastly improve your Messages experience.
Like Gboard, the default keyboard in iOS 13 now has gesture typing. Instead of pecking out each individual letter of a word, you can simply slide your thumb around the keyboard, connecting the dots between letters — perfect for typing with one hand. Formally dubbed "QuickPath" typing, the new feature actually has the same basic functionality that debuted with the Swype keyboard in 2009.
Though not exclusively a Messages feature per se, having the ability to tag loved ones or colleagues quick memos or to-dos in the Reminders app is a great way to ensure tasks like groceries, school projects, collaborations, and so on doesn't get lost in the shuffle of daily life. And once you've tagged someone, you'll be alerted of what you need to do whenever you send that someone a text or iMessage.
You can either mark the reminder as complete or temporarily dismiss by swiping up on the reminder to keep chatting away without any further distractions. If you've done the latter, the memo will stay in the lock screen to help ensure you don't forget about it. Feel free to check out our guide below if you want to learn more about the feature.
Have an iPhone? Check out all 200+ new features coming in iOS 13.