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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to activate iMessage effects with just one keyword «iOS & iPhone :: Gadgethacks

How to activate iMessage effects with just one keyword «iOS & iPhone :: Gadgethacks

One of the coolest aesthetic features of iMessage are animated message effects. If you are like many users, you may have even discovered them by accident; I wish your friend a "happy birthday!" or congratulate them with a promotion suddenly flooding your screen with balloons or confetti.

iMessage effects first appeared in iOS 10, and although Apple has only formally mentioned a few words and phrases that automatically activate these effects, we've put together a list of all the options that we can find.

Activating iMessage effects

To use these iMessage effects, you must create a message with another iPhone user ̵

1; effects still show animations while sending your green text – bubbled Android friends, but they will not be able to see it for themselves. If you don't have a friend with an iPhone to test this out, you can even try by sending yourself a message.

In a few cases, a simple trigger word or sentence automatically applies the screen effect. Although Apple has not included all of these in their official list a number of Googling and trial and error confirm four of them, each with some variations.

Even better, these trigger words work in multiple languages. We have added a few variations – "Happy birthday" in Spanish (¡Feliz cumpleaños!), "Congratulations" in French (Félicitations!), "Happy New Year" in German (Frohes neues Jahr) and "Happy Spring Festival "in Mandarin – but experiment with the language of your choice to find alternatives.


The Balloons effect can be caused by wishing someone a happy birthday.

  Happy birthday! 
  ¡Feliz cumpleaños! 


The Confetti effect appears when you congratulate someone.

(1) Balloons, (2) Confetti


The fireworks effect can be activated by someone happy New Year.

  Happy new year! 
  Frohes Neues Jahr! [19659023] Celebration 

Similarly, the Celebration effect appears when you are a happy Chinese New Year.

  Happy Chinese New Year! 
  Happy new year! 
  春节 快乐 
(1) Fireworks, (2) Celebration

Manual sending of iMessage Effects

No term to specify the effect that you are looking for? That's okay - it's simple enough to use bubble or full-screen effects manually. When the effect is activated manually, your receiver can even replay the effect, an option that is not available when a keyword is used.

What is the difference between bubble effects and screen effects? Bubble effects affect the individual speech bubble for that message. Screen effects, as the name suggests, affect the entire screen when used. Note that screen effects, other than bubble effects, have extra sounds and haptic responses. It's a great touch, but one that you want to know if they're texting in a quiet room. In addition, although at least some of the screen effects can be activated with a keyword, bubble effects must be sent manually. [19659035] For both bubble and screen effects, you can start them manually by long pressing the send button (up arrow). At the top of the "Send with effect" screen you can switch between bubble and screen. Here you can send your message with the bubble effects (from iOS 13: slam, hard, soft and invisible ink) or screen effects (the four above, as well as echo, spotlight, love, lasers and shooting star).

iMessage effects are a great way to add a little fun to your message and activate words make it super easy to use some of the most popular animations. Maybe there will be more of these trigger words in a future iOS update, but for now we are sending all of our iPhone friends a festive effect when there is something to celebrate.

Cover image and GIF & # 39; s by Juliette Sebock / Gadget hacks

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