Ready to Chat? How to Use the New Messages Features in iOS 14
Apple’s iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 add new and improved features to the default messaging app, including pinned conversations, inline replies, group photos, and in-app searching.
The Messages app has long been a mainstay on the iPhone and iPad as the default way Apple would like you to send and receive text messages. Following up on the features added in iOS 13, Apple has a few more bells and whistles for this year’s update.
In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has added pinned conversations, inline replies, group images, @ tags, and message filters. To enjoy the newest additions, you must be running the most current OS for your iPhone or iPad. Go to Settings > General > Software Update to see if your software is up to date. If not, you will be prompted to download and install the latest update. Here’s what you can do with the new features.
Pin a Conversation
Trying to hunt down a specific thread among all the conversations that appear in your Messages inbox can be challenging. Now you can pin up to nine specific conversations to the top of the screen so they’re easily accessible, such as the ones you use most frequently.
There are three ways to pin a conversation. Swipe it to the right and tap the Pin icon; press down on it and select Pin from the pop-up menu; or press down on it and drag and drop it onto the Pin circle at the top. That conversation then appears at the top of your inbox. To access a thread, tap on its pin. Press down on the pin and select Unpin from the menu to remove it.
Sometimes a group conversation can get muddled with new conversations interspersed between replies, but now you can reply to a specific comment in the thread to keep everything nice and organized. To do this, press down on the comment to which you want to respond and tap Reply. Type your response in the Reply field and send the text. The person who posted the original comment will then see your direct reply to it.
Add a Group Photo
You can now set up both a name and an image for each of your group conversations. Open a group conversation and tap the icons at the top, then select Info > Change Name and Photo.
Type a name in the Group Name field, then tap the camera icon to take a photo, the Photos icon to add an existing photo from your device, the smiley icon to add an emoji, or the pen icon to create an image with text and color. Swipe down further to choose other emoji and Memoji. Tap Done and then Done again to save your changes.
Mention Someone by Name
You can now include someone’s name in a text message as a mention. Doing so can make it easier for that person to see or respond to any texts that include their name. This can be done if you type the person’s first name, then tap the name and select the person from the pop-up icon. You can also type @ followed by the person’s name, and it will automatically turn into a mention.
Get Notified of Mentions
Sometimes you want to mute a group conversation so you’re not constantly getting alerted with every new message. If you still want to receive notifications if someone mentions you in the conversation, you can set up alerts in Settings > Messages. In the Mentions section, turn on the switch for Notify Me. Now, if a conversation that you muted mentions you by name, you’ll receive a notification.
Search for the Right Emoji
Looking for the perfect emoji to include in a text? With iOS 14 on iPhone and iPadOS 14 on iPad, you can search for it. Open a message and tap the emoji icon in the lower-left corner of the keyboard. Type a word or phrase to find an emoji you want to use, then tap the one you want to add it into your message.
Filter Out Unknown Senders
You can further clean out the clutter of your Messages inbox by filtering out all the one-time alerts and messages from unknown senders. Go to Settings > Messages, and under the Message Filtering section, turn on the switch for Filter Unknown Senders. Then in Messages you can tap the Filters link in the upper-left corner and choose between All Messages, Known Senders (anyone in your contacts), and Unknown Senders (anyone who is not).
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.