11 Tips and Tricks to Get More out of iMessage

Text From Your Computer or iPad

When watching NetFlix or doing some online shopping, it can be annoying to go from your laptop or iPad to your phone. Apple has a feature where you can connect your iMessages to those devices and you get your own pop out messaging feature – kind of like AIM.

It also makes sending images and reactions GIFs a lot easier.

Here’s how you do it:

Settings > Messages > Preferences > Accounts > +

iPhone Tip

Reply from the Lock Screen

Older iPhones had more options when it came to locking your phone, but now they lock up right away. This can be annoying when you have a conversation, but there is a way to reply quickly and painlessly. You can reply right from your lock screen!

Here’s how you do it:

When someone texts you on lock screen, drag the message to the left. A blue “reply” will show that you have to then hit. The message comes down from the top and you are able to reply normally.

iPhone Tip

Create Custom Vibrations for Each Contact

It is sad to say, but some people are more important than others. If your mom constantly texts you about the latest news in her books club, for instance, that might not be as important as when your boss texts you. However, if they are texting you at the same time, having the same vibrations can mix you up.

Setting a custom vibration for each contact will let you know when you have to reach for a text immediately and when you can dawdle.

Here’s how you do it:

Contacts > Select Contact > Edit > Vibration > Create New Vibration

iPhone Tip

Share Your Location with Friends

If you want to know where your friends and family are, or you want them to know that you are somewhere safe, you can share your location with your friends quickly and easily. This is a great tool for parents who want to keep an eye on their children or for friends who like to go out at night but sometimes get separated. Everything is automatically located so that you don’t have to worry about finding a common zone.

Plus you can do it through one of those stock apps that you probably never use!

Here’s how to do it:

Find My Friends > Add > Send

Download the Emoji App

The Emoji app is a mystery to everyone when they first get a phone. You already have the basics, but how are people getting all of those awesome Emojis? Well, there are a ton of apps that allow you to have customized Emojis, from ones that look like your favorite celebs (Kim Kardashian started that trend) to animal themes.

You can search the App Store for whatever Emoji you want and see what pops up.

To enable a keyboard:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Keyboard > Select Name

Custom Word Shortcuts (i.e. “ty” turns into “thank you”

If you aren’t the world’s best texter or you are sick of sending certain things, like your address or email, then you might want to set up custom word shortcuts. These allow you to create your own abbreviations for phrases that you say all the time. Since they aren’t preset, you can put it whatever you want – swear words, old school abbreviations, or even relevant work information.

To create custom word shortcuts:

Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacement

iPhone Tip

Use “Do Not Disturb” For Group Chats and Individual Contacts

Pretty much everyone can agree that the only thing worse than being left out of a group chat is being included in one that has a big talker in it. This is the type of person that responds to everything with an “LOL,” an emoji, and a GIF – all in different bubbles. Instead of ruining your friendship with that person, you can simply use “Do Not Disturb” to turn the conversation off. This will allow you to check the messages when you really want to.

As an added bonus, you can do the same thing for individuals!

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To set someone to “Do Not Disturb,” you have to go into the contact and hit Details. From there you can just toggle “Do Not Disturb” on or off.

iPhone Tip

Swipe and Hold Left to See the Time a Text Was Sent

Sometimes we get too busy and don’t answer a text right away. Then when we go back to answer the text, we don’t know how long it has been. Or maybe you want to know when a text was sent so that you can tell if information has changed or if it is still relevant.

For some reason Apple doesn’t see a need for that to be public, but there is a way to see a time stamp on all of your texts, and it is easy to get.

Here’s how to do it:

In a message, swipe left and you will see movement, besides each bubble, you will be able to see the time.

iPhone Tip

View All Photos Someone has Sent You

We’ve all spent way too much time thumbing our way through text messages to find the picture that our mothers sent us of the decorations she got or to see what our significant others hinted us to buy to a gift. It can take a lot of time – unless you go into a thumbnail mode. This feature is another one that Apple never really explained, so many people don’t realize you can even do it.

All you have to do is go into the specific conversation and hit details in the upper right corner. You might have to scroll down a little, but you should be able to see a collage of all the images sent from that specific person.

iPhone Tip

Try Different Keywords (Use G-Board to Search and Send Gifs)

One of the best ways to express yourself is to send a GIF – they just say so much that words will never be able to say. However, it can be really annoying to go onto Safari, search for a GIF, figure out if it will move when you send it, and then send it. All too often, the moment is over before you’ve completed your steps.

Downloading an app like G-Board can help minimize the time and streamline the process of shading your friends and family with Friends GIFs.

Choose how long you want to keep messages to save space

If you are running out of room on your phone, you have probably gone through a lot to try to maximize space. But did you know that your texts are probably eating up oodles of space? If you never delete them (and who does?) they are just sitting there. Apple has made it easy to automate the deletion process, however.

Here’s how to do it:

Settings > Messages > Keep Messages

iPhone Tip

Sell a Device