What’s a smartphone without a proper messaging tool? So far people have been relying mostly on third-party apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but starting this fall you may want to try out the default Messages app inside iOS 8. It’s packed to the brim with features borrowed from the world’s most popular texting apps, and Apple didn’t ask permission either.
“Look forward to doing amazing new things with the app you use most. In iOS 8, Messages has fun, useful, even surprising features that will change the way you think about messaging,” according to the Cupertino giant.
Indeed, the new Messages app in iOS 8 is by far the coolest version yet. You get to add your voice to the conversation thread with a simple swipe-up gesture, include a video with another simple gesture, take charge of group chats like never before, and share your location in the middle of a convo.
“Messages in iOS 8 makes it easy to capture any sound — your voice, a song, or a big laugh — and make it part of the conversation. Simply touch and hold the new microphone button to record your message. Then swipe to send it,” says Apple.
Users simply touch and hold the left or right button with their thumb to record the video / audio message, then swipe up to send it.
“The new Messages app lets you share what you’re seeing almost as you’re seeing it. Quickly send a video of your brother’s first time paddleboarding. Or your dad joining the fire dancers at the luau. When you do, you’ve said so much more than ‘Having fun on our vacation.’ And you’ve said it in seconds,” Apple adds.
By now you’ve probably realized that iOS 8 Messages borrows more than one feature from popular IM services like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. According to reports, the Cupertino giant has even stolen a Snapchat feature that destroys a message if it hasn’t been viewed in due time.
The location sharing bit is inspired from WhatsApp Messenger, and the people who are responsible for the latter aren’t very happy, as you can imagine. Apple markets the feature as follows:
“‘Where are you?’ Answer that question more clearly than ever with a map showing your location. You can also share your whereabouts with people you choose for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. And you can see people in the message thread on a map if they’ve shared their locations.”
Other new abilities include: tap to see attachments from conversations, send multiple photos and videos, as well as add and remove individual friends from a group chat. A “do not disturb” button is also available for individual threads / convos.
iOS 8 will be available this fall, and developers can download a preview immediately.