5 hidden iPhone Messages features you need to know about

Even if you use the iPhone Messages app every day, you might not know all that it is capable of. To fully appreciate the application, BGR has rounded up some of the most hidden secrets that Messages has to offer users. Here they are.

1. Follow the flights live: No other application is required. If you have a flying friend or family member, you can see exactly where they are as long as you know the flight number. Imagine the flight is LA8085, and they just sent it to you. Long press on the message, then tap on “Flight preview”. You will see everything you need to know about it.

2. Unlock animations with secret codes: Depending on the phrase you sent on iMessage, you can get custom animations. Although you can long press the “Send” button before sending a message to choose a suitable animation, you can also trigger them based on the message. Here are some examples:

  • Happy birthday! – balloons will appear
  • Congratulations! – confetti rain
  • Good year! – fireworks
  • Happy Chinese New Year! – red blast
  • Pew Pew – laser light show

3. Unread message: One of the best features available with the Messages app on your running iPhone iOS16 is the ability to mark a message as unread. If you’ve already read it but don’t have time to respond to it right now, you can leave a notification badge there. To mark messages as unread, long-press a conversation in the app’s inbox and select “Mark as unread”.

4. Stop Spam: iMessage has a cool feature that can split your message inbox by different senders. In the Settings app, tap Messages, then turn on Filter unknown senders. Scroll up, tap Notifications, Customize notifications and turn off Unknown senders. With this, you won’t be notified of spam or messages from people you don’t know. You just need to check the Unknown Senders tab from time to time.

5. Try Visual Look Up on sent messages: Visual Look Up works like Google Lens, which can tell you what’s in an image. When you receive a photo in a chat, tap it, then select View information that appears. Then Siri will say what’s in the picture, like a historical place, the breed of a dog, etc.

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