Texting is one of the best modern tech conveniences around. Instead of fussing with a phone call, you can simply compose your messages and send them any time. You can keep them short and sweet or long and strong. 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 so many people prefer texting. But did you know you can take your texting game to even greater heights?
With a few tricks, you can become a texting guru. One way is to control your phone with your voice without using Siri. Tap or click here to see how. But what else can you do? Here are the iPhone texting tricks you wish you knew all along:
1. Turn your finger into a mouse
Our iPhone screens are pretty small compared to our hands. Even the larger devices can make tapping the right place in a message tricky. Instead of frustrating yourself while trying to tap on the right word, just use this simple trick to turn your finger into a mouse.
When you’re texting someone and want to go to a specific part of the message, press and hold the space bar, then drag your finger up, down, left or right to put the cursor exactly where you want it.
2. React to messages
Do you like the reaction options social media sites offer? It’s convenient to convey your feelings with a heart or thumbs up. And now, you can react to text messages on your phone, too.
Just press down on the message and choose how you’d like to react.
3. Quick copy and forward
If you hate group texts, but have something you want to share with multiple people, here’s a convenient shortcut. Instead of manually copying and pasting a message over and over again, forward it with a few taps.
Simply long press a message, tap More…, choose which one(s) to forward, then select the arrow on the bottom right corner to forward it. The original message’s content will be copied as a new message so all you have to do now is select the recipient(s) and send.
4. Share your location
If you’re planning on meeting up with anyone, or you want to update someone of your location while you’re traveling, you can easily share where you are. This feature can also be useful for tracking your kids or can even be a life-saver during emergencies.
Open Messages and choose the conversation thread you have with the person you want to send your location to. Tap their name, then the info button. The person’s details page will open. From here, tap Send My Current Location.
If you want to send someone regular updates about your location, you can tap Share My Location instead. You have the option to share for an hour, until the end of the day or 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, try sending low-quality photos.
To do this, go to Settings >> Messages >> then scroll all the way down and toggle Low Quality Image Mode to On.
You may also like: Easy trick to find any photo on your phone
6. Single text alerts only
iPhones will send you two text notifications in a two-minute interval by default. While this is great for those of us who forget we received a text, others may find it redundant.
To have your iPhone send single text alerts:
Go to Settings >> Notifications >> Messages. Scroll down to Repeat Alert and set it to Never. From here, you can also choose to receive up to ten alerts at two minute intervals.
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.
Open the group chat and tap the group icon at the top. Choose the info button and scroll down to Hide Alerts. Toggle it on and that’s it!
While scrolling through your messages, all group chats with hidden alerts will show a moon icon to the left.
8. Label your groups
Here’s another handy tip. If you have multiple group message threads, you can find them at a glance by naming them.
Note: This is only an option for iMessage groups.
Simply open the conversation thread, tap the names, then the info button and choose Enter a Group Name.
9. Assign individual special message tones
Want to know who’s texting you without having to look at your phone? Set special text tones for specific contacts.
Open the Contacts app and choose the person you want to customize. Tap Edit >> Text Tone. Select the tone you want.
10. Block people
Do you have contacts you don’t want to speak to anymore? Maybe they always send you unnecessary and annoying texts or just don’t respect your requests to leave you alone. To stop their messages, you have to block them from being able to contact you at all. Here’s how:
Open Contacts and look up the person you want to block. Scroll to the bottom of their information page and choose Block this Caller. Tap Block Contact to confirm. If you change your mind later, you can unblock them by looking them up from the Contacts app again and scrolling down to choose Unblock this Caller.
11. Hide notification previews
Text notification previews are convenient but anyone can read your texts from the lock screen.
If you want to keep your text previews hidden, go to Settings >> Notifications >> Messages, then scroll down to Show Previews. You can choose to receive previews When Unlocked or Never.
12. Record and send a voice message
Don’t have time to type a long message? No problem. Save time by recording a voice note using Messages.
Note: You can only do this for other iMessage users.
Launch the Messages app and start a conversation. Tap and hold the microphone button and release it when you’re done recording. Next, just send it by tapping the up arrow button.
Now that you know all these text secrets, it’s time to impress your friends and family. Like our tips? Sign up for Kim’s Tech Tips newsletter.