How to send text messages on an iPhone using the Messages app

The Messages app on iPhone permits you to send easy text messages, photos, GIFs and far more to your friends. The app icon is inexperienced with a white speech bubble and might be 1 in every of the first icons on your iPhone display. You’ll find the identical icon on your iPad display, and there is a Messages app on the Mac too – besides this time, the icon is Blue.

If you are a texting novice trying to work together with the grandkids, a texting celebrity new to the iPhone or simply questioning about the newest options in the Messages app, you’ve got come to the proper place. This article explains how to send an SMS, text message, iMessage or group message on an iPhone and get ideas on sharing your location, photos, GIFs, movies and more.

For troubleshooting recommendation, see How to send a text when iMessage shouldn’t be working and take a look at additionally Why is not my iPhone sending messages? And if you do not need to send it fully but, this is how to schedule text messages.

How to send an SMS or iMessage

Let’s begin with the fundamentals. Here’s how to send an SMS, text message or iMessage out of your iPhone in 5 straightforward steps.

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone. The icon seems to be like this:

  2. Tap a message chain with the individual you need to reply to (then go to step 4) or faucet the sq. icon in the high proper nook.
  3. Type in the title of the individual you need to send a message to (see autofill choices if they’re in your contacts) or their phone quantity or iMessage e mail deal with.
  4. Tap in the text area and sort your message.
  5. Tap the blue or inexperienced arrow subsequent to the text area to send your message. The colour of the arrow tells you whether or not you’re going to send a text message or iMessage.

What is the distinction between an SMS and an iMessage?

Within Messages, there are literally 2 sorts of messages: texts and that iMessages.

You send text messages to friends who do not have iPhones. These seem in inexperienced speech bubbles.

iMessages – a particular type of message you possibly can send and obtain from friends who’ve iPhones (or different Apple gadgets) in case you have files – seems in blue speech bubbles. iMessages are despatched via Apple’s servers, so that they use a Data connection as a substitute of the mobile community.

Keep in thoughts that in the event you send a whole lot of text messages to friends who do not have iPhones, you possibly can pay to send them. Most cell phone contracts embody numerous free text messages per 30 days, but when yours is proscribed, it’s possible you’ll not need to use Apple’s Messages app to send messages to friends who do not have iPhones. It’s okay, you possibly can nonetheless message them – we advocate using a cross-platform messaging app like WhatsApp as a substitute.

In reality, it’s attainable to send an iMessage to an Android person, however, it isn’t straightforward: they want a Mac to ahead the messages.

How to sync messages throughout all of your gadgets

It’s straightforward to hold all of your messages in sync throughout all of your gadgets, again up photos and attachments despatched to you by way of iMessage, save area on your iPhone, iPad and Mac and entry your anyplace full message historical past. Here’s how.

Please be aware that you should use iOS 11.4 or larger and macOS 10.13.4 or larger.

Sync messages on iPhone and iPad

  1. Go to Settings> Apple ID> iCloud.
  2. Turn on Messages.

You want to allow 2-factor authentication and be linked to Wi-Fi in order that your message historical past may be uploaded to iCloud.

After the first sync, all the pieces ought to all the time be up to date so long as you’re linked to the web.

Sync messages on Mac

  1. Go to Messages> Preferences.
  2. Click the field subsequent to Enable Messages in iCloud.

For more info on this matter, read How to again up Messages in iCloud.

Send group messages

If you’ve gotten a gaggle of friends or family members who personal iPhones, it’s straightforward to send group messages. This means you do not have to send the identical message to every individual individually, you possibly can message them unexpectedly – and better of all, all replies go to everybody in the group.

  1. Open the Messages app.
  2. In the dialog view, faucet the sq. icon in the high proper nook.
  3. Start typing a friend’s title and choose it when advised mechanically. Then begin typing 1 other, and so on.
  4. As lengthy as all names keep blue, you possibly can send the message as a gaggle chat and all replies go to everybody on the checklist.
  5. If even 1 in every of the contacts turns inexperienced, you possibly can’t hold a gaggle chat via iMessage. In that case, it is again to WhatsApp (or simply go away that individual out). IOS permits you to send a message to a number of recipients even when not all of them are on iMessage, however, they’ll all obtain it as an ordinary message – in the event you reply to it, it will solely reply to you.

You also can add a new individual to a gaggle chat that has already began. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your group dialog.
  2. Tap on particulars.
  3. Then faucet Add Contact.

You also can mute group conversations that get too noisy. And in the event you’re bored with getting ping alerts from a gaggle dialog, you possibly can go away it anytime. To do that:

  1. Open the group dialog.
  2. Tap Details.
  3. Scroll down after which faucet Leave this Conversation.

More subtly, you possibly can mute group conversations by thread – the remainder of your messages proceed to generate regular notifications, however, your iPhone will not buzz to let of additional updates for this dialog. Again, go to Details after which flip on the Do Not Disturb slider (it is going to be proven in inexperienced).

It is feasible to fully exit an iMessage group chat and mute the notifications. We have a look at that in a separate article: How to go away a gaggle text on iPhone.

Add emoji and animations to messages

By using emoji, you possibly can add a little bit of lightness to your messages, a wink to say ‘I’m probably not making an attempt’ or a smiling face with tears to point out that you’re ‘laughing out loud’ (not in tears) – this will get complicated!)

Since the launch of iOS 10, Apple has made it very straightforward to use emoji by mechanically suggesting the emoji you might complement for a phrase: for instance, kind ‘rabbit’ and an picture of a rabbit will seem as 1 in every of the predictive text strategies. You will need to have Predictive Text enabled in Settings> General> Keyboards for this to work.

You also can use this predictive feature after writing your message. If you faucet on the emoji icon on the keyboard (the smiley), the phrases related to emoji will flip orange. Just faucet the purple phrase to mechanically flip it into the emoji. If you do not need to overwrite the phrase with the emoji, simply faucet on the phrase in regular keyboard view after which faucet on that emoji to add it to your message subsequent to the phrase.

Read Using Emoji on iPhone, iPad and Mac for more info

If you’ve gotten an iPhone X, XR, XS, XS Max, you additionally get entry to Animoji, cartoon characters that mimic your expressions and actions as you converse, so you possibly can file messages on your friends. Find out how to use Animoji.

Add animations

If you need your text messages to stand out, you are able to do this in a number of methods. Make positive the recipient notices and remembers your message so that they haven’t any excuses for not paying consideration to your texts!

First, there are animated results:

  1. Write your message first. But as a substitute of tapping the blue arrow to send your iMessage, faucet and maintain the arrow (or use a Force Press, in case you have an iPhone with 3D Touch).
  2. You will likely be offered with 4 choices: slam, loud, gentle and invisible ink.
  3. Slam, as the title suggests, places the message into your dialog with a bang impact animation.
  4. Loudly squiggles the message and enlarges the font.
  5. Gentle writes the message in a small font after which slowly returns to the default font.
  6. Invisible ink hides the message so your recipient has to swipe the message to reveal it – helpful for surprises or delicate info you need to share.

You also can add a full display animation to your messages. To do that, comply with these steps:

  1. Write your message and faucet and maintain the blue arrow button.
  2. At the high you will note the Bubble and Screen tabs. Tap Screen.
  3. Swipe left to cycle via the accessible animations, together with Echo, Spotlight, Balloons, Confetti, Love, Lasers, Fireworks, Shooting Star and Celebration.
  4. Once you’ve got discovered the impact you need, faucet the blue arrow to send it.

If you possibly can send the totally different message animations however, can’t obtain them, it could possibly be as a result of you’ve gotten enabled Reduce Motion in Settings. Here’s how to disable that feature:

  1. Go to Settings> Accessibility> Reduce Motion and ensure it is turned off.
  2. If it nonetheless would not work, toggle iMessage on and off in the Settings menu, which ought to begin these message animations. This may be carried out by going to Settings> Messages and turning iMessage off and on.

You also can send sketches in your messages with Digital Touch.

  1. To activate this feature, faucet the A icon on the left aspect of the text area field, then faucet the icon that appears like a coronary heart.
  2. You will likely be proven a small black pallet with which you’ll draw or send animated gestures.
  3. Fortunately, you can also make this little black pallet a bit larger, which is healthier if you would like to scribble a message. To do that, faucet the Video camera icon after which (assuming you do not need to send what’s on the camera) faucet the X to shut the camera.
  4. Now you possibly can scribble in numerous colours chosen from the palette above.

When you faucet the i in the backside proper nook, you will see a reminder of all the Digital Touch gestures, similar to how to send a fireball, kiss or heartbeat.

You even have the possibility to take a photo so you possibly can scribble over the picture to illustrate 1 thing or add a message.

Send photos, movies, and GIFs in a message

If you need to send a photo (or a video for that matter) to a friend by way of the Messages app, it’s totally straightforward.

  1. Open Messages and enter your contact particulars.
  2. Tap the camera icon to the left of your text field and the camera will activate. You will see a stay stream in the central panel; you possibly can take selfies by tapping the ‘flip’ icon in the high proper nook of that panel.
  3. When you faucet the shutter button, a message is generated with the picture in it; you possibly can add a remark or send it your self. Tap the picture in the message to view it in full display and to edit or spotlight the picture.
  4. To the proper of the stay feed you will note the 2 most up-to-date photos in your camera roll; swipe left to see more. You also can faucet Photos on the left to browse albums.

There is a second means to send a photo (or video): from the Photos app.

  1. From the Photos app, find the picture you need to send to a friend.
  2. Tap that picture to open it.
  3. Then faucet the Share icon (the sq. with an arrow).
  4. Now select Message.
  5. And lastly, enter the title of the individual you need to send the picture to.

Find and delete photos in Messages

Since Messages was up to date for iOS 8, it has been very straightforward to find each picture and attachment in a message dialog. All attachments are actually organized in a single place. Tap the i in the high proper nook to entry ‘Details’.

It’s a good way to view all attachments from a busy dialog without delay, and it is a lot simpler to delete photos and attachments if you would like to free up area on your iPhone (press and maintain an picture in the particulars view, then select More, then faucet on any picture you need to delete to ‘delete all the pieces’.

Read How to Free Up Space on an iPhone for more info.

How to add an iMessage picture to the Photos app

Photos despatched by way of iMessage don’t mechanically go to the Photos app (not like WhatsApp). To add a photo to your picture library, comply with these steps:

  1. Tap the picture to open it.
  2. Tap the Share icon in the backside left nook.
  3. Tap Save picture.

Send GIFs in messages

Here’s what to do if you would like to send a GIF to illustrate 1 thing in Messages. You might want to present somebody precisely what you consider their newest submit by tapping into a star response to an analogous occasion.

  1. Open a message.
  2. Tap the app icon.
  3. Swipe till you get to the display with photos and movies, or faucet the purple magnifying glass icon.
  4. Type the phrase you need to illustrate in the search area.
  5. Choose the GIF that finest illustrates what you need to say.

If you’re misplaced for inspiration, faucet Search Images and browse the classes. For every class you choose, as soon as that phrase is in the search field, 1 other faucet in the field will carry up more strategies for associated phrases and phrases.

Send music in messages

You also can send music by way of Messages – though the recipient wants an Apple Music account to hear. Otherwise, they’ll get a Buy track on iTunes link or a Subscribe to Apple Music link.

  1. Tap the App Store icon subsequent to the text message area.
  2. You will see all just lately performed songs.
  3. Scroll via till you find the 1 you need to share.

When you faucet the monitor title, it should open in the Music app and begin taking part in (assuming you personal the monitor). Tapping on the circle with the triangle inside it should preview the melody.

Send a voice message

A new feature that got here again in iOS 8 was the capacity to send quick audio messages as a substitute of typing text. This is particularly common with non-English audio system. Here’s how:

  1. Tap and maintain the microphone icon subsequent to the text field to file your message.
  2. Do not let go till you’ve gotten completed talking.
  3. You can play the message by tapping the play icon subsequent to the message recording. If you do not prefer it, faucet the X to take away.
  4. Tap the arrow when you’re prepared to send.

There is an even simpler means:

  1. Simply maintain your gadget to your ear.
  2. Wait till you hear a beep and converse.
  3. Put the phone down once more to mechanically send the recording (in any other case faucet the arrow to send it).

If you need to hear a message that another person has recorded for you:

  1. Just maintain the iPhone up and hear as if it have been a phone name, in a pleasant, neat gesture management.
  2. Or press the blue arrow subsequent to the recording.
  3. You can file your reply on iPhone straight away as soon as the authentic is completed, and as quickly as you drop the phone it is going to be despatched.

How you share your location

Since iOS 8, you possibly can share your location in a dialog and you’ll mechanically share your location with any SMS you send in a dialog (this may be turned off after an hour or at the finish of the day). Here’s how:

  1. Open a message and enter the recipient’s particulars.
  2. Tap the i in the high proper nook.
  3. Tap Send my present location or Share my location.
  4. If you select to send my present location, a link will likely be despatched to the location that the recipient can entry in Apple Maps.
  5. If you select to share My Location, you’ve gotten the possibility to “Share for 1 hour,” “Share to the end of the day,” or “Share indefinitely.” Doing this will even share your location in Find My Friends.

Another means to share your location with somebody is to share from a maps app (this works in Apple Maps or Google Maps).

  1. Open your Maps app.
  2. Tap the icon indicating the place you’re.
  3. Choose Share your location.
  4. Tap Message.
  5. Enter the recipient’s info and faucet send.

How to know when a message was despatched

It’s onerous to imagine, however, earlier than iOS 7, it was really onerous to know when a message was despatched as a result of not each message had a time stamp. Swipe left to see what time a message was despatched.

How to like a submit

Tapback in Messages is a bit like Facebook’s Like choices. Follow these steps to use the feature:

  1. Double-tap an iMessage you acquired.
  2. You will see a coronary heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, ‘Haha’, 2 exclamation factors and a query mark.
  3. Tap the reply you want.

This permits you to shortly reply to a message without typing text.

Choose Haha to present your friend that you just have been amused, or a thumbs up to present approval. There is even a query mark if you’re stunned at their message.