Texting is one of the best modern tech conveniences around. Instead of fussing around with a phone call, you can simply compose your message and send it anytime.
You can keep them short and sweet with acronyms like “K” or “h r u?” or long and strong with multi-part texts. You can even spice them up with photos, GIFs, emojis, animojis and videos.
You don’t even have to read a text message right away. Simply save it for later then read and reply on your own time! This is why for most people, texting is the communication medium of choice. It’s so unintrusive!
But did you know that you can take your texting game to an even higher level? With a few tricks, you can elevate your title to text guru in no time. It’s even easier if you own an iPhone!
Here are iPhone texting tricks you wish you’ve known all along:
1. 3D Touch to reply directly from a notification
Do you use 3D Touch? It’s that unique feature in an iPhone 6s or later (except the iPhone SE) that lets you press your screen with different amounts of finger pressure to access more options. Try it, you might find hidden controls you may not even be aware of!
For example, with 3D Touch, you don’t even have to go to the Messages app to reply to a message. Just do a hard long press on the lock screen text notification itself to reply.
2. 3D Touch for quick replies
You can also use 3D Touch for a hard long press on a text within the Messages app to send quick fun replies such as “like,” “heart,” “unlike,” “laughter” and question mark icons.
3. Quick copy and forward
Here’s another convenient shortcut you can use. Instead of copying and pasting a message’s text to forward it, try this method.
Simply long press a message (similar to quick reply), tap “More…” on the bottom menu then select the arrow on the bottom left corner to forward it. The original message’s content will be copied as a new message and just select the recipients as usual. Easy peasy!
4. Share location
For privacy reasons, you probably don’t want this feature on all the time. But in case you really need it, you can easily share your location with anyone within the Messages app.
Not only is this feature useful for meet-ups and directions, it can also be used for tracking your kids or can even be a life-saver during emergencies.
To share your location in the Messages app, do this: Open a conversation thread then tap the little “i” icon in the upper-right corner of your screen to open the contact’s details.
To send your current location (including a map) to the particular contact, tap “Send My Current Location.”
If you want to send someone regular updates about your location, you can tap “Share My Location” instead.
- On your kid’s phone, go to Contacts, then select your name.
- On your own contact page, scroll down and tap “Share My Location.”
- Choose between “Share for One Hour,” “Share Until End of Day,” or “Share Indefinitely.”
5. Save data with lower quality images
Sending photos via text messages can be data-intensive. And if you have a mobile data cap, you can eat through it in no time.
To save bandwidth, you can opt to send low-quality photos in your iPhone text messages instead. Here how’s you do it: Go to Settings >> Messages >> then scroll all the way down and toggle “Low Quality Image Mode” to On.
6. Single text alerts only
iPhones will send you two text alert sounds twice in a two-minute interval by default. While this is great for most occasions, others may find it redundant.
To have your iPhone send single text alerts only, do this: Go to Settings >> Notifications >> Messages. Scroll down to “Repeat Alert” then set it to “Never.”
7. Mute group message alerts
If you’re part of a texting group, the constant alerts can get overwhelming. Thankfully, you can silence these group alerts on your iPhone.
To mute group message alerts, swipe left on the group message then tap “Hide Alerts.” You’ll then see a moon icon on the left side of the group to indicate that it’s muted.
8. Label your groups
Here’s another handy tip. If you have multiple group message threads going on, you can organize them by giving them individual labels.
To name a group, simply open the conversation thread, tap the “i” icon on the top right then tap “Enter a Group Name.”
9. Assign individual special message tones
Similar to having special ringtones for your special someone, you also can set special text tones for specific contacts. This is great for knowing exactly who just sent you a text.
To set up a special text tone on your iPhone, select the specific Contact (on the Contacts app or the Phone app), then tap “Edit” on the upper right. Now on the “Text Tone” section, change it from “Default” to something else. You can also change the specific contact’s vibration alert in this section.
10. Block specific people
Do you have contacts who keep annoying you with text messages? Well, on the iPhone, you can simply block that contact and silence them.
Here’s how you do that: From the text conversation, tap the “i” icon on the top-right then tap the name or number at the tap. Select Block this Caller then Block Contact to confirm. Don’t worry, you always have to option to unblock the contact later.
11. Hide notification previews
Text notification previews are convenient but the downside is that anyone can read your texts from the lock screen.
If you want to keep your text previews hidden on the lock screen, you can! Go to Settings >> Notifications >> Messages then scroll down to “Show Previews” to set to “When Unlocked” or ‘Never.”
12. Record and send a voice message
Don’t have time to tap away and send a long message to one of your friends? No problem! You can record a voice note using Messages so your friend will receive an audio clip. It saves you some time on long messages and also gives them the pleasure of hearing your delightful voice!
- Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Tap on an existing conversation with the person you would like to send a voice note to.
- Tap and hold the microphone button and begin speaking into your phone’s microphone.
- Swipe upwards to the quick send button (looks like a message bubble with an arrow in it).
If you mess up while recording, swipe your finger to the left in step 4 instead of upwards in order to cancel the voice message. Just tap and hold again to start the recording over.