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10 things you didn't know you could do in Apple Messages

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Apple Messages seems to get new or improved features with each version of iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. This frequency of additions makes it easy to miss one, so here are several features you may have overlooked.

To note: All features are available when message apple users with iMessage. Some features are Compatible with other types of devices like Android phones, but may look or work a little differently.

Edit recently sent messages

New since iOS16, iPadOS 16and macOS Venturayou can edit a text message up to 15 minutes after sending.

RELATED: How to Cancel or Edit an iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

On iPhone and iPad, long-press the sent message bubble, or on Mac, right click. Select “Edit”, make your change in the text message field that appears, and check the box to save the change.

Edit text in Messages

Your recipient may see an Edited indicator below the message that they can select to view the original message.

Edited text in messages

Undo sending last message

In addition to the Edit function above, Apple has introduced the ability to unsend a text message. This is similar to email reminder in outlook or gmail. You can unsend a message up to two minutes after sending it.

On iPhone and iPad, press and hold the sent message bubble, or on Mac, right-click. Select “Cancel Send”. You will then see the message disappear in a puff of smoke.

Cancel sending messages

Note that your recipient can see the message before you cancel it. However, he disappears from the conversation.

Use inline responses to organize responses

A feature that can help you organize your responses is Online responses. This comes in handy when you’re texting quickly and want to make it clear which message in the conversation you’re replying to.

RELATED: How to Use Inline Replies in Messages on iPhone and iPad

On iPhone and iPad, press and hold the sent message bubble, or on Mac, right-click. Select “Reply”. You’ll see the specific message you want to reply to front and center with the rest blurred. Enter your response in the message field and send as normal.

Reply to a text message in Messages

You and your recipient will then see a line connecting the reply to the message in the main conversation. Select the Reply or Replies link below the message to see all of this “side conversation” with the rest blurred.

View an inline reply in Messages

Track flights and packages

If you receive a message with a flight number for a traveler or a tracking number for a package, you can get everyone’s status right in the Messages app.

At iPhone and iPadpress the number or Mac, just click on it. For a flight, choose “Flight overview” and for a parcel, choose “Track shipment”.

Preview flight and track shipment in messages

You will then see either a small pop-up window or a separate window open displaying the status of the flight or package. You can also get additional details such as departure and arrival times or the current location of a package.

Flight and package status in Messages

Replace Words with Emoji

You may have noticed that when you type certain words into the message field on your iPhone or iPad, you have the option to pop in an emoji. But you can also do this after you’ve finished typing the entire message for all words where an emoji is available.

RELATED: How to Quickly Select Emoji in Messages on an iPhone or iPad

On your iPhone or iPad, type your message in the text field, but don’t send it yet. Instead, open the Emoji Keyboard using the bottom left icon.

You’ll see any words in your message that contain matching emoji highlighted. Tap a highlighted word to replace it with the emoji. For some words, you may see different options to choose from directly above the word.

Words highlighted and replaced with emoji in messages

Use a mention to grab attention

While this feature works in one-to-one conversations, it’s especially useful in group messages. You can mention a person in a message which then bolds their name and sends them a notification.

On iPhone, iPad, or Mac, start typing the contact’s name, then choose it from the options that appear. You can also type the @ symbol (At) followed by their name.

Mention in posts

Your recipient sees their nice and bold name to grab their attention.

To note: You can control the notifications for mentions in messages. On iPhone and iPad, go to Settings > Messages and use the Notify Me button. On Mac, go to Messages > Settings > General and check the box next to Notify me when my name is mentioned.

RELATED: 10 Hidden Mac Features You Should Be Using

Hand write or draw a message

If you want to try something a little different with your next post, how about write it down or draw a picture? You can do it on iPhone and iPad and it only takes a minute to make your message special.

On iPhone, turn your device sideways to be in landscape mode. On iPad, you can use either view. Select the doodle icon at the bottom right of the keyboard.

Scribble key on iPhone keyboard

You’ll see a blank canvas appear for you to write or draw with your finger (or Apple Pencil on iPad). You can also see recent designs and suggestions for you to choose from at the bottom. Add your message and tap Done.

Handwriting canvas in Messages

You will then see your handwriting or sketch in the text message field. Just send it like any other message.

Send handwriting in messages

Filter messages

To quickly see your unread messages, those from known sources or unknown sendersor texts that you recently deleted, you can use filters with just a tap or click.

RELATED: How to Hide Spam Texts from Unknown Senders on iPhone

On iPhone and iPad, tap the Filters arrow at the top left of your main Messages screen. Then choose an option to filter and see your results.

Filters in Messages on iPhone

On Mac, select “View” from the menu bar. Then choose the filter you want to use to see the results.

Filters in Messages on Mac

Tapback to react quickly

One of the fastest ways to acknowledge text in Messages is to use a tapback. You can respond with a heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, laughter, exclamation point, or question mark.

RELATED: How to Reply with Tapback in Messages on iPhone and iPad

On iPhone and iPad, long-press on the message and on Mac, right-click on it and select “Tapback”. Choose the reaction you want to send and that’s it. Your recipient will see the reaction icon in the corner of the message bubble.

Tapback in messages

To note: For older versions of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS, the recipient sees a text label instead of an icon.

Send bubbles or screen effects

Another simply fun feature is message effects. You can share your message with a bubble effect like “loud” or “invisible ink” or a screen effect like lasers or fireworks.

On iPhone and iPad, type your message, then press and hold the Send button. You will see a screen with tabs at the top for available Bubble and Screen effects. Select one to preview it and just hit the send button for the one you want.

Effects in Messages on iPhone

On Mac, type your message, select the uppercase A icon to the left of the message field, then choose “Message Effects.” You will see all Bubble and Screen effects together in one screen. Select one to see a preview and click the submit button to use it.

Effects in Messages on Mac

Your recipient will see your item the first time they see the message. They can also tap Replay above the message bubble to enjoy it again.

With these handy Messages features, you can fix a sent message, track deliveries, see only the messages you need, and send something fun to a friend. Are you like us and can’t wait to see what Apple brings to Messages next?

RELATED: 10 Great iPhone Features You Should Be Using

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