iOS 10 Concept: iMessage

When iMessage was announced in 2011, it offered free, unlimited text messaging, synced across all of your Apple devices. At the time, this was big.

Fast forward to 2016, where unlimited cross-device messaging is ubiquitous. Slack has become a household name and WhatsApp is used by billions of people. Google has just announced their vision for the future of messaging: Allo. iMessage, on the other hand, has barely changed in 5 years.

iOS 10 marks a milestone for the the revolutionary mobile OS. It’s time for iMessage to take another leap forward.

Rich Media

People exchange much more than just text. I share music through Spotify or Apple Music, I pay my friends through Venmo, I share my location through Find My Friends, I share links through email, I send event invites through calendar. All of that can live under the same umbrella in iMessage.

The iMessage interface would be simplified with a single “+” button (left) that expands to display the various types of rich media that can be shared through iMessage (right).

Once sent through iMessage, that content would be interactive directly from the message view. You could play songs directly from the conversation. A link would turn into a preview that when tapped, leads to the site. A calendar invite can be accepted directly from the message.

A song can be sent directly from Apple Music or iMessage, and it would appear as an interactive player with album art (left), a link would transform into a rich preview of the page (center), and calendar invitations would display important information, and can be accepted with a couple of taps (right).

Apple Pay Cash

Mobile and peer-to-peer payments has been an exciting space over the last 3–4 years. Square, Venmo, and Paypal have mostly dominated the industry, but the introduction of Apple Pay last year made Apple a major player. Now, iMessage can help to take it further.

Along with websites, photos, and songs, you should be able to send money to friends and family via iMessage. Just tap the Apple Pay Cash button, type in what you’re paying for and how much you want to send, and then verify your identity using Touch ID.

Apple Pay Cash within iMessage allows you to enter a payment amount and purpose (left), at which point it would validate your identity using Touch ID (center). The transaction would appear as a unique part of the chat history (right).

Managing your Apple Pay Cash account would also be a breeze. An Apple Pay Cash card would live in the Wallet app, where you can view previous transactions, withdraw the account balance to a bank account, or use your balance to buy things just like a debit card.

An Apple Pay Cash card would live with the other Apple Pay cards in your account on the Wallet app (left). Once selected, a user would be able to see their balance and recent transactions, as well as transfer their balance to their bank, or use it to pay for things just like using a debit card on Apple Pay (right).

iMessage Platform for Developers

In order to stay competitive with Slack, Google, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, Apple should join the movement of chatbots by opening up iMessage to developers.

As a user, I should be able to ask for sports scores, restaurant recommendations, directions, weather, and more directly from iMessage. By opening up the platform to developers, the potential of iMessage becomes infinite.

Other Improvements in Communication

There are so many other, more minor, improvements that Apple could make to iMessage, including text formatting (bold, italics, and underline), predictive emoji auto-complete, and Slack-style emoji reactions.


There have been remarkably few rumors about what iOS 10 will entail. This post may turn out to be a list of predictions we will all be enjoying later this Fall, or simply a bunch of pipe dreams. We’ll find out in June.

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