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Home / Tips and Tricks / 9 tips to control Apple's iMessage chat app on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac

9 tips to control Apple's iMessage chat app on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac



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iMessage is an important part of the Apple experience, and rightly so! Jason Cipriani / CNET

I am one of those people who simply cannot leave the iPhone because I am so locked up in the iMessage chat app and the addictive blue bubble . Although I switch all year round between the iPhone and Android it is iMessage that finally brings me back.

Group conversations are better in iOS and sharing full-size photos and videos is virtually unparalleled. In defense of Android, Google recently gave Android users access to its iMessage competitor but it's just not the same.

For me, the Apple chat platform feels much more complete, and that is partly due to the huge range of useful features that go beyond just typing a message and sending a link. I'm going to share my favorite less-known iMessage features with you and how to use them.

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Adjust iMessage settings to work for you

It is a good idea to open the Message Settings screen and take a few minutes to cycle through the different options and adjust how messages work. The most important thing is to double-check the send and receive settings.

I cannot tell you how often I have been asked why some messages are displayed on a Mac or iPad ($ 350 at Walmart) but not on an iPhone – or vice versa. Fortunately it is an easy solution: do not use your e-mail address (es), only use your telephone number in the section Send and receive of the settings of Message .

Or if you don't have an iPhone, but use iMessage on a Mac and iPad and make sure your send and receive settings look the same. I have a thorough follow-up of that process here .

The rest of the settings determine things such as whether read receipts are meant for each iMessage conversation, whether you want text messages (those green bubbles) to be forwarded to your other Apple devices or to be kept on your iPhone, how long you want to save messages on your device and so on. Take a few minutes, go through each option and decide how you want messages to behave.

If you are new to iMessage and are not sure how to enable this, go to the bottom of the message. We handle the process there.

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Messages in iCloud keep everything in sync and make a backup. Jason Cipriani / CNET

Backup of iMessages via iCloud

Constant backup of your iMessage calls that is synced across all your Apple devices is another of my favorite benefits of the Apple messaging platform. Apple uses iCloud to back up and synchronize your message conversations (including text messages).

The short version of the instructions is this: Open Settings > tap your name> iCloud and make sure the switch next to Messages is on.

Please note that if you delete a call from one device, it will be deleted from all of your devices. That also means that if you have chosen to keep conversations for only 90 days, your iCloud backup of messages will follow.

We elaborate on Messages in iCloud and how you can activate it here on your Mac .

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Messaging is a robust app with many hidden functions. Jason Cipriani / CNET

Hiding alerts, blocking numbers from sending you a message and more

It's easy enough to send and receive messages in the Messages app, and distinguishing iMessages from text messages is also easy – if the messages are those you send are green, it is an SMS. If the bell is blue, talk to a fellow iMessage user.

We have a overview of 10 tips that help you go beyond the basics of sending and receiving messages . For example, you can mute individual conversations with a left movement over the conversation and hide Alerts ; especially useful if you are in a noisy group that cannot stop talking about last night's football game.

Make sure that you also benefit from the new search function. You can search the Messages app for photos, links, attachments, and text in a conversation. Just open the Messages app and tap on the search bar at the top. ]] You can use Apple Cash to pay people through the Messages app on your iPhone.


Patrick Holland / CNET

Send money to iPhone users via Apple Pay – it's like Venmo

You can send and receive money with Apple Pay within an iMessage call, just like with Venmo or Square Cash.

The process is simple – set up Apple Pay Cash and link a debit card to your account. With the installation of Apple Pay you can use the Apple Pay app in iMessage to pay rent, ask a friend's money to split a dinner bill or use it randomly to send someone enough cash to get a cup of coffee to cover.

You will also notice that when you send someone a message that contains an amount in dollars, the number is underlined, which means that you (or the recipient) can tap it to start Apple Pay with the number that has already been entered . It's pretty cool.

There is much more going on, but fortunately we have a complete guide that must answer any persistent questions .

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The confetti screen effect is probably my favorite, but I have to use it more. Jason Cipriani / CNET

Change your iMessage personality to 11

Did you know that you can add light-hearted animations and fun stickers to your messages? It's true. Another nice tool to use is the emoji converter. After typing your message, tap the Emoji button on your keyboard and iOS will automatically find words that can be converted to emoji. It's pretty cool and an easy way to use emoji without going through them all.

Some other nice effects include:

  • Bubble and screen effects for individual messages
  • The ability to drag stickers from sticker packages to a photo or message
  • Send memoji and Animoji voice messages [19659054] A built-in image finder that yields some of the best GIFs

Find out how to add as much fun and interaction to your iMessage conversations as possible, and follow us as we guide you through it and then about .

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With your iMessage profile you can show off your personality. Jason Cipriani / CNET

Take the time to set up a Memoji profile – it's worth it

Speaking of personality, you may have noticed that you can now set your own profile icons with Memoji. It's incredibly fun, incredibly easy to do and is something that is easily overlooked or skipped when setting up a new iPhone. With this you can not only show your personality through photos & Memoji, but as your friends and contacts set them up, the message thread of the Messages app starts to become more vivid thanks to the profile photos & # 39; s of everyone.

Edit your photo and contact name by opening the Messages app, tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner, followed by Edit name and photo . You can then take a photo, use a Memoji or use a photo from the photo gallery.

From now on, every time you update your photo or name, contacts with whom you share your information will receive a request to use your new photo.

Make sure you read about your iMessage profile and the rest of the new Messages app functions in iOS 13.

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<h2>  Use only read confirmations for those who matter </h2>
<p>  One of my favorite functions of iMessage is the ability to disable read confirmations for anyone who sends me a message, but still enable it for specific contacts. For me, this means that I have read the receipts 99 percent of the time, with the only exception being my wife and children, so they know I have seen important messages. </p>
<p>  In this way, when I receive a message from a friend or colleague, I feel no obligation to respond when I open the message, especially when I am in the middle of a task that requires my full attention (which I often do). </p>
<p>  To enable read proofs for individual contacts, open the iMessage thread and then tap the photo of your contact at the top of the screen. Then tap <em> Info </em> and then enable <strong> Send read receipts </strong>. </p><div><script async src=

The same option can be used in reverse order and used to disable read receipts for a specific contact if you prefer to enable read receipts for everyone. This means that you can disable read receipts for the person who is constantly sending you messages and ask why you read them while you have enabled read receipts for everyone else.

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Chat with companies to get help. Jason Cipriani / CNET

Chat with iMessage with companies for customer service issues

Friends, colleagues & acquaintances are not the only people you can talk to via iMessage. You can also ask companies for help with matters such as an order that you have placed with Newegg, or report a fraudulent transaction on your Apple Card to Goldman Sachs in the Messages app.

A company that uses Apple Business Chat is easily recognized, with most companies a & # 39; Chat with messages & # 39; on their respective support pages & # 39; s or in their apps. Tap it to open a conversation. There is currently no way to search for a company name in iMessage.

You can read more about how Apple Business Chat works here where you will also find a complete list of companies that offer Business Chat services.

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The iPhone has a lot of great features, but one of the best is iMessage. No doubt. Sarah Tew / CNET

Setting up iMessage

When you set up your Apple device – whether it is an iPhone, iPad or Mac – you will be prompted to log in to your iCloud account with your Apple ID. Once you sign up, Apple automatically turns on iMessage and links it to the email addresses that you use for your Apple ID, as well as the phone number of your iPhone.

If you only use iMessage on a device that does not have a phone number, such as a Mac or iPad, then iMessage trusts your email address.

Open the app Settings on your iPhone or iPad and go to Messages and make sure that the switch with the label iMessage at the top of the screen is in the position On .

After you have mastered iMessage, you should view all the hidden features of that we have found in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 . And when you're done with that, as you can view all the new features that your iPhone and iPad have including a special dark mode .

Previously published this week.


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