Apple’s Messages app is one of the iPhone’s killer features. The messaging platform is insanely popular for its end-to-end encryption, simple design, elegant interface, and the ability to send both iMessages and texts. But iMessages in iOS 14 is about to get even better.
Messages In iOS 14
iOS 14 brings a ton of new features to the iPhone. But one of the apps that got the most love in the iOS 14 update was Messages. iMessages, or Messages, as it’s known now, has been around since 2011, when Apple first introduced it in iOS 5 and OS X Mountain Lion.
Immediately iMessage was a big hit thanks to its cross-device compatibility. You could receive the same iMessages and text messages on all your Apple devices–iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even iPod touch.
Since its original launch nine years ago, iMessages has kept adding new features. And iOS 14 adds some of the biggest features yet, including pinned chats, @ mentions, group photos, and inline replies. Announcing the new iMessage features, Apple said:
“Messages is central to communicating with friends and family, and now it’s easier to stay connected and quickly access important messages. Users can pin conversations to the top of their messages list, easily keep up with lively group threads through mentions and inline replies, and further customize conversations by setting a group photo using an image or emoji. New Memoji options in Messages are even more inclusive and diverse with additional hairstyles, headwear, face coverings, and more.”
But the feature we’re going to talk about in this article is arguable the best: inline replies.
Why Is Inline Messaging A Big Deal?
First, let’s define what inline messaging is. Inline messaging refers to the ability to directly reply to a message even if that message was sent ten messages ago. In chats, messages are shown chronologically. Yet it may sometimes be a while before a person in a group or regular chat replies to a message you sent a while ago. Inline messaging allows that person to link your original message and their reply together. In other words, you can see exactly what the person is replying to.
Obviously, inline messaging is a killer in group chats where a lot of people are texting. But it also works in regular chats–chats just between you and someone else. It’s a powerful tool to link previous messages together with your reply and gives both the sender and receiver more context in an ongoing conversation.
How To Send Inline Messages Replies In iOS 14 On your iPhone
Inline replies (they are also known as inline messages) are a major new feature of Messages in iOS 14. But in order to use inline replies you’ll need a few things first:
- Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (wherever you are texting from) must have iOS 14 or later.
- If you’re texting from your Mac, your Mac must have macOS Big Sur or later installed.
- Likewise, the people you are chatting with must also have iOS 14 or macOS Big Sur installed on their devices.
Once all those conditions have been met, you’re free to use inline messages in your chats. Here’s how:
- Launch the Messages app on your device.
- Select a chat from the conversations list (group chats are best).
- Find a message you want to directly reply to in the thread and then long-press on that message.
- Tap the Reply button and then type and send your message as normal.
Once the steps above are done, you’ll see a notification under that particular message that one or more replies is waiting. Tap the blue “replies” text below the original message’s word bubble to expand the inline reply.
And don’t forget, Messages allows you to do all kinds of things–including blocking people from sending you text messages. Something to keep in mind!
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.