HomeTechnologyNews10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Apple Messages

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do In Apple Messages

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Apple Messages seems to get new or improved features with every version of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. This frequency of additions makes it easy to miss one, so here are several features you might have missed.

Note: All features are available when messaging Apple users with iMessage. Some features are compatible with other types of devices, such as Android phones, but may appear or work a little differently.

Edit recently sent messages

New in iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura, you can edit a text message up to 15 minutes after you send it.

RELATED: How to Unsend or Edit an iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

On iPhone and iPad, tap and hold the sent message bubble, or on Mac, right-click. Select “Edit”, make your change in the text message field that appears, and press the check mark to save the change.

Edit a text in Messages

Your recipient may see an Edited indicator below the message that they can select to view the original message.

Edited text in Messages

Undo Send for the last message

Along with the Edit feature above, Apple introduced the ability to cancel sending a text message. This is similar to retrieving an email in Outlook or Gmail. You can unsend a message up to two minutes after you send it.

On iPhone and iPad, tap and hold the sent message bubble, or on Mac, right-click. Select “Undo Send”. You will then see the message disappear in a puff of smoke.

Undo Send in Messages

Keep in mind that your recipient can see the message before you cancel it. However, he disappears from the conversation.

Use online answers to organize answers

One feature that can help keep your answers organized is Online Answers. This is useful when you’re sending and receiving text messages quickly and want to make it clear which message in the conversation you’re replying to.

RELATED: How to Use Inline Replies in Messages on iPhone and iPad

On iPhone and iPad, tap and hold the sent message bubble, or on Mac, right-click. Select “Reply”. You’ll see the specific message you want to reply to front and center with the rest blurred out. Enter your reply in the message field and send as normal.

Reply to a text in Messages

You and your recipient will see a line connecting the reply to the message in the main conversation. Select the Reply or Replies link below the message to see the entire “side chat” with the rest blurred.

View an online reply in Messages

Flight and package tracking

If you receive a message with a flight number for a traveler or a tracking number for a package, you can get the status of each directly in the Messages app.

On iPhone and iPad, tap on the number, or on Mac, just click on it. For a flight, choose “Flight Preview” and for a package, choose “Track Shipment.”

Flight preview and shipment tracking in messages

You will then see a small pop-up window or a separate window open showing the status of the flight or package. You can also get additional details as available, such as departure and arrival times or the current location of a package.

Flight and package status in Messages

Replace words with emojis

You may have noticed that when you type certain words in the message field on iPhone or iPad, you get a chance to display an emoji. But you can also do this after you finish typing the entire message for any word where an emoji is available.

RELATED: How to quickly select emoji in messages on an iPhone or iPad

On your iPhone or iPad, enter your message in the text field, but don’t send it yet. Instead, open the Emoji Keyboard using the icon at the bottom left.

You’ll see any words in your message that have a matching emoji get highlighted. Touch a highlighted word to replace it with the emoji. For some words, you may see different options that you can choose from directly above the word.

Words highlighted and replaced with emojis in Messages

Use a mention to get attention

While this feature works in one-on-one conversations, it’s especially useful in group messages. You can mention a person in a message which then bolds their name and sends them a notification.

On iPhone, iPad, or Mac, start entering the contact’s name, then select it from the options that appear. Alternatively, type the @ (At) symbol followed by your name.

Mention in Messages

Your recipient sees your name nice and bold to get their attention.

Note: You can control mention notifications in Messages. On iPhone and iPad, go to Settings > Messages and use the Notify Me option. On Mac, go to Messages > Settings > General and use the Notify me when my name is mentioned checkbox.

RELATED: 10 hidden Mac features you should be using

Handwriting or sketching a message

If you want to try something a little different with your next message, how about writing it by hand or drawing a picture? You can do this on iPhone and iPad and it only takes a minute to make your message special.

On iPhone, turn your device sideways so it’s in landscape view. On iPad, you can use any view. Select the scribble icon at the bottom right of the keyboard.

Scribble key on iPhone keyboard

You’ll see a blank canvas appear for you to write or draw with your finger (or Apple Pencil on iPad). You can also see recent drawings and suggestions you can choose from at the bottom. Add your message and tap “Done.”

Handwriting canvas in Messages

You will then see your handwriting or sketch in the text message field. Just send it like any other message.

Send handwriting in Messages

filter messages

To quickly see your unread messages, those from known or unknown senders, or texts you recently deleted, you can use filters with a tap or a click.

RELATED: How to Hide Spam Text Messages from Unknown Senders on iPhone

On iPhone and iPad, tap the Filters arrow at the top left of the main Messages screen. Then choose an option to filter to see your results.

Filters in Messages on iPhone

On Mac, select “View” from the menu bar. Then choose the filter you want to use to view the results.

Filters in Messages on Mac

Tapback to react quickly

One of the fastest ways to recognize a text in Messages is with a Tapback. You can respond with a heart, a thumbs up, a thumbs down, a laugh, an exclamation point, or a question mark.

RELATED: How to reply with a tapback in messages on iPhone and iPad

On iPhone and iPad, tap and hold the message and on Mac, right-click and select “Tapback.” Choose the reaction you want to send and that’s it. Your recipient will see the reaction icon in the corner of the message bubble.

Touch back to Messages

Note: For earlier versions of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS, the recipient sees a text label instead of an icon.

Send bubbles or screen effects

One more feature that is just plain fun is the message effects. You can share your message with a bubble effect like “loud” or “invisible ink” or a screen effect like lasers or fireworks.

On iPhone and iPad, write your message, then tap and hold the Send button. You will see a tabbed screen at the top for the available Bubble and Screen effects. Select one to preview and just tap the Submit button for the one you want.

Effects in Messages on iPhone

On Mac, write your message, select the uppercase A icon to the left of the message field, and choose “Message Effects.” You will see all the Bubble and Screen effects together on one screen. Select one to preview and click the Submit button to use it.

Effects in Messages on Mac

Your recipient will see your effect the first time they see the message. They can also tap Play above the message bubble to enjoy it again.

With these handy Messages features, you can correct a sent message, keep track of deliveries, see only the messages you need, and send something fun to a friend. Are you like us and can’t wait to see what Apple brings to Messages next?

RELATED: 10 Great iPhone Features You Should Be Using


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