10 little-known iMessage hacks to turbo-charge your texting game trends now
With more than a billion users worldwide, iMessage is one of the titans of the messaging world - but many users fail to take advantage of the app's hidden features.
Launched in 2011, iMessage is unique in that it only works on Apple products, working across macOS, iOS, iPadOS and watchOS.
Recent updates have added many new functions - this this year's iOS 17 adding everything from improved sticker support to the ability to 'check in' on a friend who is travelling.
Below are some of the best new tools and settings from iMessage that you might not be familiar with - from tracking flights to playing games right there in the iMessage app.
Turn your photos into Stickers
The latest iOS 17 update added the option to turn your own cutout photos into stickers which you can share in iMessage.
Open Photos, find a picture, tap it to open it in full-screen, and then long-press a person to cut them out, then select a border, or just save.
Turning photos into
When you’re using iMessage, you can react to any message with a sticker: you can find your stickers in the Frequently Used panel in the menu where you access emoji.
Play chess within iMessage
You can play games like chess with friends directly in iMessage: you’ll need to download an app that says ‘in Messages’.
One of the games you can play within iMessage is Chess (by Chess.com).
You can play games including chess within iMessage (Apple/Chess.com)
You can then select it from the app list to play within a chat.
Share your ETA (and get an alert if you don’t show up)
The latest version of iOS lets you share your estimated time of arrival when travelling - and send an alert if you don’t turn up.
To activate it, tap the plus button next to the text box in your conversation.
Pick Check In, then tap Edit (there are two options: When I Arrive or After a Timer).
If you choose When I Arrive, you choose a destination, type of transport and an estimated arrival time: if you choose After a Timer, you set a time.
After the set time, you get a simple prompt asking if you are OK: if you don’t respond, the contact you are chatting with is sent an alert to say something might be wrong, along with information like your last known location and your cellphone’s battery level