Apple likes it when you use their Messages app to chat with people on your iPhone and iPad, and it’s the default app on your Apple devices for text comms. Even with the improvements and tweaks that have come over the years, the heart of Messages is the simple and clean way that you can text people.
With iOS 13 getting an update, there are a few new additions to what Messages can do. It’s now in your control how your name and photo looks to the people you interact with. Searching through conversations for texts, links, contacts, photos, and the other stuff you’ve been sharing has been made easier. Memoji customization has also been expanded, and you can cross this over to Messenger as a sticker now.
Going up to iOS 13.2 or higher and you get an addition to Siri which will tell you about your new messages through some earbuds and headphones. There’s also the swiping QuickPath keyboard ready to use, helping you type your messages faster.
Set Your Own Name and Photo
Head to Settings > Messages and here you can set the name that you share with contacts, as well as the image. Go to the entry for Share Name and Photo and select Choose Name and Photo. Photos can be chosen or you can tap on the three dots and choose something from your phone’s library.
Memojis can even be used for your image. Strike a pose and take a shot, then add some color or filters to what you create.
You get a lot of control over who will see this chosen image. You’ll be asked if you want to add the pic to your Apple ID contact card as well your name and select the sharing settings you want to use. Under Share Automatically, you can pick whether it’s only your contacts who see your pic, or whether you want to be asked to confirm sharing each time.
This means that a setting of Name and Photo Sharing to Contacts Only will show your new picture to everyone and anyone you text. Choosing Always Ask will give you a notification during your messaging to ask if you want to share the photo with that contact.
Search your Chats
To be able to search your messages, go into the main Messages screen where you need to swipe down and get the search box at the top, then tap inside it. You’ll get some automatic suggestions such as contacts, locations, photos, links, and attachments. Here, just type in what you’re hunting for and you’ll get any details that are relevant, be they contacts, chats, links, attachments, or anything else you’ve shared.
Easy Access to More Details
Information is now more integrated into the app. Go into a conversation, tap on the name of the contact you’ve been chatting to then tap the info icon and swipe down. Now, you’ll get all of the links, photos, and other stuff in your phone that’s linked to that contact. You can also tap on See All Photos and See All Links so you can see all that type of content specifically.
Jazz Up Your Memoji
If you’re using a supported iPhone and iPad, you can add lots of little details to your memoji now. There’s personalization of teeth, glasses, headwear, and other little extras and accessories. To make these adjustments, go into any conversation, tap the Apple icon and you’ll get the icon toolbar, from here you need to go to Animoji. On this screen, swipe left and you’ll come to the button for New Memoji, hit that option and get creating your new memoji with the new bells and whistles.
Create a Sticker From Your Memoji
Once you’ve created an animoji and memoji you can change it into a sticker to use. From inside a conversation, go to the Apple icon and go into Stickers. Swipe along the small icons and you’ll come to the memoji you made and the animoji that comes with iOS iPadOS. Simply tap on the animoji or momoji that you want in your message and send the text like normal.
Make Siri Tell You About Messages
If you’ve got second-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, or specified Beats headphones, you can have Siri tell you when messages come through. To make this work, head to Settings > Siri & Search > Announce Messages and select the entry for Messages. From here you can choose who to get announcements about; favorite contacts, recent messages, all contacts, or everyone. When you next get a message, Siri should be there to tell you about it.
Type Faster with QuickPath Keyboard
There’s no need to waste your time tapping out every letter for your message anymore, saving time and frustration. Using the QuickPath keyboard that was brought in with iOS13 and iPadOS, you should see your typing get a lot faster. No need to tap each key anymore, just drag your finger from one character to the next to write your words. When you get to the end of one word, just lift your finger, and start again with the next word. A double-tap of the space bar will make a period and begin a new sentence. Your texting speed should get loads better with this new update.
This article was originally written by Lance Whitney at PCmag.