In many ways, Messages is the most important app on iPhone. Obviously, sending and receiving SMS is one of the most popular uses for smartphones, and it is a necessary part of many. two-factor authentication configurations. But iMessage, the blue bubble internet messaging platform introduced in iOS 5, is a vital part of the Apple ecosystem. This fixed many issues with texting at a critical time, and it’s important that Apple continues to make the “blue bubble” as meaningful as possible.
With each new version of iOS, Apple makes some improvements to Messages. This year, iOS 14 will bring several welcome new features that recognize the way people use it today. The emphasis is on organizing an ever-growing message list and on the clearer pursuit of group conversations. When you switch to iOS 14 this fall (or participated in iOS 14 beta) these are the features you will find.
Better message filtering
In iOS 13, you can filter messages from unknown senders by going to Settings > messages and light Filter unknown senders. This will place iMessages received from people who are not in your contacts in a separate tab and prevent you from receiving notifications from them. Any SMS or iMessage message from someone from your contacts will go in a separate tab and still generate messages.
With iOS 14, Apple is improving both the logic and the interface for this. When Filter Unknown Senders is enabled, you will see a selection of filters in the upper left corner of the Messages screen. Tap on it and you can switch between three views: All messages, Known senders and Unknown senders.
Known Senders is a list of iMessages and SMS messages from people in your contacts, as well as numbers you recently called or sent the first SMS to. You don’t need to add the plumber to your contacts if you called them and then received an SMS.
Unknown senders include everything else including all those SMS verification codes and spam texts.
We get so many messages these days that conversations with the people we most want to reach are often buried several screens down. Rather than finding your most important conversations, you can pin them.
You can swipe a conversation to the right to pin it, or long press and choose the Pin option. You can pin up to nine conversations, and they will appear in circles at the top of your screen. Long press one to detach it.
Pinned conversations sync on iPhone, iPad, and macOS (after Big Sur update).
It can be difficult to keep track of responses in group messages or to reply to a message someone sent earlier in your conversation.
In iOS 14, you can long press any message and choose “reply” to create an inline or “thread” reply. It will appear as the most recent post as it normally would, but iOS 14 users will also see the original post, with a small medium connecting it, and a list of the number of replies in the thread.
You can tap it to view and read the entire conversation online.
The interface and design for it can be a bit confusing, and Apple can still tweak it a bit ahead of release, but it’s less confusing than trying to keep track of what everyone’s talking about in a post. group of six people.
A key component of most group chat software is the ability to grab someone’s attention with a “mention” or “name check”. Now iMessages can do that as well.
Just type someone’s name in the message and it will turn gray. Tap on it to see a small name icon and select it to turn their name into a mention. It will light up blue with whimsical animation.
You can also just type @name and it will immediately become a Mention.
What’s the point? Well, group texting can really blow up your notifications. It’s not uncommon for people to long press a group message conversation and choose to “hide alerts” or swipe right to left and tap the bell icon. With Mentions, you have the possibility (in Settings > messages > Tell me) to hide notifications from chats while receiving a only when you are mentioned.
Groups no longer need to exist as a string of names in your message conversations list – in iOS 14 you can name them!
Just open a group text, tap the round icon at the top, and choose Info. From the info page, you will have the option to change your chat group name and photo using photo, bold text or emoji and memoji. The name and image will be updated for all other group members.
When group members are chatting, their images display around the edge of the group icon, with the most recent person speaking a little bigger and even a preview of their post. This is a good way to get a visual indicator of group activity when you haven’t enabled notifications for it and you’re not constantly checking it.
While not specifically about Messages, the iPhone keyboard in iOS 14 adds a feature that will likely be used in Messages more than any other app: a search bar for the emoji picker.
Yes, the emoji picker has a search bar at the top, so you don’t have to type a word in your text and hope that the emoji you want appears in the predictive text line or do well. scroll through the pages of little yellow faces to find what you are looking for.
And it’s pretty smart, too: it doesn’t just look for a specific name, but brings up all the relevant emoji. A search term like “birthday” matches the birthday cake and birthday face, but also the balloon, gift, confetti, and so on.