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11 iPhone texting tips you’ll wish you knew sooner

Texting is one of the best modern tech conveniences around. Instead of fussing with a phone call, you can compose messages and send them at 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. 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, 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 also react to text messages on your phone.

Press down on the message and choose how you’d like to react. Pick between a heart, thumbs up or down, Ha Ha, exclamation points or a question mark.

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 repeatedly, 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 want to update someone on your location while traveling, you can easily share where you are. This feature can also help track your kids or can even be a lifesaver during emergencies. Here’s how to do it:

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 Share My Location. You can share for one 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. To save storage space, try sending low-quality images.

To do this, go to Settings > Messages > then scroll down and slide the toggle next to Low Quality Image Mode to the right to enable it.

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 who forget we received a text, others may find it redundant.

To have your iPhone send single text alerts:

Go to Settings > Notifications > Messages > Customize Notifications > Repeat Alerts. Choose from never, once, twice, three times, five times or 10 times. If you’re looking to stop repeated notifications, select never.

7. Mute group message alerts

The constant alerts can get overwhelming if you’re part of a texting group. Thankfully, you can silence these group alerts on your iPhone. Here’s how: Open the group chat and tap the group icon at the top. Slide the toggle next to Hide Alerts to the right to enable it. That’s it!

8. Assign individual special message tones

Do you want to know who’s texting you without looking at your phone? Set special text tones for specific contacts.

Open the Phone app and tap Contacts from the menu at the bottom of the screen. Next, choose the person you want to customize. You can scroll the list of contacts until you find the person or type their name into the search at the top of the screen. Tap Edit > Text Tone. Select the tone you want.

RELATED: 9 best sites for free ringtone downloads

9. 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 the Phone app and tap Contacts from the menu at the bottom of the screen. Next, choose the person you want to block. You can scroll the list of contacts until you find the person or type their name into the search at the top of the screen.

Now 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 and scrolling down to choose Unblock this Caller.

NOTE: Once you block someone, they can’t text or call you.

10. 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 and select Show Previews. You can choose to receive previews Always, When Unlocked or Never. To prevent notifications from appearing on the lock screen, select When Unlocked.

11. 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 send voice messages to other iPhone users with iMessage.

Launch the Messages app and start a conversation, or select one that is already ongoing. You have a couple of options from here. You can create a voice-to-text message, so you don’t have to type. Or you can record a voice message and send that.

To create a voice-to-text message, press the microphone button in the text bar where you’d normally type. Your iPhone will listen to your words and type them for you. Be careful, though. It’s not an infallible program and sometimes makes mistakes. Make sure the text is correct before hitting send.

To record a voice message, tap the blue audio button under the text bar. It looks like this:

Next, tap the red microphone button that pops up after selecting the blue audio button. This begins the recording process. When you’re finished saying your message, tap the red button to stop recording. Your voice message will fill the text bar; you just need to tap the blue up arrow to send it. That’s it! Easy, right?

You may also like: 10 iPhone tricks I use every day, and you will, too

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