Everything You Need to Know About iMessage

It may not surprise you to learn that there are over 1 billion iPhone users in the world. But what is surprising is many of those users are unfamiliar with the capabilities of their cellphone. For example, iMessage.

iMessage is Apple’s instant messaging feature. You can access iMessage from an iPhone, Mac computer, iPad, or other Apple product. The messaging service allows you to instantly send text, photos, videos, emojis, and gifs to anyone in your address book.

But there’s more to know about the iMessage service! Keep reading for a few little-known secrets about iMessage and how to make the most out of the program.

iMessage vs. Text Message

Unlike traditional text messages, also known as SMS or MMS messages, iMessage uses the internet to send messages. Sending messages via iMessage uses cellular data which means you need to have an internet connection to use it. If you don’t have internet access, your iPhone may prompt you to send your message via text message instead.

When you are chatting with another iMessage user you will see a blue iMessage but if you are chatting with someone that is sending a text message the message is green. Messages, including photos and videos, can be sent faster and more reliably using iMessage.

iMessage Basics

If you are new to iMessage or you think you’re not getting the most out of the iMessage feature, this section of the article will discuss the basics. First, you can send a message to an individual user or a group of people. Type the name(s) of the people you want to chat with and send your message – that’s it!

You can add or remove people from a group iMessage or a user can voluntarily leave the group. Users cannot add themselves to a group chat unless they are invited.

With iMessage, you can send photos and videos from your photo library. To do so, open iMessage and click on the photos icon below the message. Choose from recent photos or click on “all photos” to see more.

With the newest iOS update, photos sent from friends will create a collage, so you can easily click through several photos. You can also access those photos later in a “shared with you” folder in your photos app.

To send audio messages, click on the sound icon to the right of your message bar. Tap and hold while you record the message and then press send!

Those are the basics, but if you want to learn more about using iMessage, keep reading!

iMessage Reactions

You can react to an iMessage by pressing and holding the message. Your reaction options are like, dislike, love, question, laugh, emphasize. This makes it easy to communicate without sending additional messages. The other person or people in the message thread will be notified that you reacted to the message.


There is an ever-expanding number of emojis to use when your Imessage friends. To send an emoji, open your message and locate the smiley face icon in the bottom left of the keyboard (next to the 123). From there you will see your most frequently used emojis.

You can sort through emojis by theme. The themes are indicated with icons at the bottom of the emoji keyboard. You can also search for emojis using the search bar. Trying to find an avocado emoji to send to your friend? Just type in avocado and find what you’re looking for right away!


If you want to copy a message someone sent you, click and hold the message. You will then see the option to copy the message. You can paste the message into another iMessage or into your notes app.

Send With Effects

Type a message and hold down the blue arrow next to the message. You’ll see options to send a message with effect. You can use the bubble effects for the message only or the screen effects for the entire iPhone screen. For example, if you want to send a birthday message you can go to screen effects and send your message with balloons.

Read Receipts

A read receipt is a way to show whether a person has opened and read a message. When read receipts are turned on, the message sender can see that the message reader opened the message. This will be indicated with the word “read” underneath the message.

You can adjust your read receipt settings by clicking on the settings icon and then “messages”. From there you can toggle read receipts on or off. With the new iOS software update, you will also be able to turn on read receipts for specific contacts.

iMessage on Mac

You can also send and receive iMessages on your Mac computer. To get started, visit and follow the instructions. Using iMessage on your computer eliminates the need to constantly check your phone for messages during your workday. You can also send iMessage using your phone number or email address if you want to keep business and personal contacts separate.

iMessage Benefits

Now that you have a few iMessage tips and tricks in mind, let’s address why iMessage is a superior messaging service. First, it’s easy to use and doesn’t require you to download anything. When you purchase your iPhone you can instantly start using iMessage.

Also, your iMessages can sync across different devices such as your laptop or iPad. You can take conversations with you wherever you go!

Another iMessage benefit is the live typing notification. You can see if someone is in the middle of sending you a message because you will see three small dots on the conversation screen.

Above all, iMessage has fun features like emojis, stickers, gifs, and more! You can send all types of media through the same convenient messaging program.

From iMessage Novice to Absolute Pro

Did you learn something new about iMessage? Good!

Many iPhone owners only use a fraction of the features iMessage has to offer. But now you can impress your friends and coworkers with your expert knowledge of iMessage. And be on the lookout for even more features with each iOS update!

Need more tech knowledge? Check out our other articles to expand your tech genius!

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