Everything You Need to Know About Messages, the iPhone Texting App

Text messaging programs are the most-used apps on smartphones worldwide–and they’re getting more powerful all the time. And no wonder: besides texts, it is possible to send photographs, videos, animations, stickers, music, and more. Apple’s text messaging platform is known as Messages plus it is built into each iOS device and every Mac.

Sending texts Messages is simple and free, but unlocking all its attributes requires more knowledge. The topic can get confusing once you discover there is also something named iMessage constructed into Messages. Continue reading to find out how iMessage differs from Messages, what it provides, and also for answers to some of the most common questions about Messages.

How Is iMessage Different from the Messages App?

Messages is the texting program that comes pre-loaded with all the iOS on almost any iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. It lets you do all the basic things you’d expect: send texts, photographs, etc..

Download iMessage for PC

On the flip side, iMessage on Windows PC is a Apple-specific collection of features and tools that are made on top of Messages. It is iMessage that offers all of the trendy, advanced features used in Messages. You can use other programs to send texts out of your iPhone, but if you would like to use all iMessage’s attributes, you’ve got to use the Messages app.

Features of Messages and iMessage

What Multimedia Can Be Sent Using Messages?

All the kinds of multimedia that can be sent with regular SMS messages can be sent using Messages: photos, videos, and audio.

In iOS 10 and up, there are some additional features of iMessage that make sending media even more useful. For instance, if you send a video or a link to YouTube, the recipient can watch the video inline right in Messages without going out to another app. Links open in Messages rather than Safari. If you send an Apple Music song, the recipient can stream the song right in Messages.

Can You Use Messages on Multiple Devices?

Yes. One major benefit of iMessage is that all of your compatible devices are synced, so you can continue conversations across devices.

To do this, you can’t use your iPhone’s phone number as your Messages address. That won’t work because the iPod touch and iPad don’t have phones in them and aren’t connected to your phone number. Instead, use both your phone number and an email address. To control this:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Messages
  3. Tap Send & Receive

Make sure all of your devices have the same email address listed and checked here (it may be easiest to use your Apple ID).

What Kind of Security Do Messages and iMessage Offer?

The basic Messages app doesn’t have much in the way of security features. Because those texts are sent over phone company cellular networks, they have only whatever security is offered by the phone company.

Because iMessages are sent through Apple’s servers instead of your phone company’s, iMessage is very secure. It offers end-to-end encryption, meaning that every step of sending messages—from your device, to Apple’s servers, to the recipient’s device—is encrypted and secure. The security is so strong, in fact, that not even Apple can break it. To learn about an interesting case of a real-world effect of this security, read Apple and the FBI: What’s Happening and Why It’s Important.

Bottom line: When you send something via iMessage, you can be sure that no one will intercept and read your messages.

Does Messages Use Read Receipts?

Read Receipts are only available when using iMessage. Read Receipts tell you whether someone has read your iMessage or let others know you’ve read theirs. To send Read Receipts to other people when you’ve read their messages:

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap Messages
  • Move the Send Read Receipts slider to On/green.

What Other Fun Options Does Messages Offer?

When you’re using iMessage at iOS 10 or greater, iMessage has a ton of interesting features. These include fairly standard chat-app tools such as decals that can be added to messages and that ability to draw on photos before you ship them. It also includes more advanced things like the ability to utilize handwriting in your messages and bubble effects. Bubble effects are cool animations that you can apply to your messages to provide them more oomph. They include things such as making the bubble pop, animating it so your message is highlighted, or perhaps using”invisible ink” that requires the receiver to tap on the message to disclose its content.

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