Text messaging has evolved a lot since the first text message was sent in December 1992.
Mobile users in the United States will send about 2 trillion text messages in 2021, according to the website Statista. This is a huge increase from the 81 billion shipped in 2005.
Decades of texting have seen emoticons made from colons and parentheses replaced by more expressive and emotive emojis.
Typos can be edited or entire messages not sent, and you can reply to a message without typing anything.
It’s also common to meet someone who prefers to communicate via text rather than phone or email.
But there’s more to these digital interactions than just sending some text.
How to add iMessage effects
iMessage has built-in effects that add some extra pizazz when messaging between Apple devices.
To find these effects, press and hold the blue arrow that sends the message. Then the options will appear.
To see this in action, watch this video.
The effects include:
- Invisible ink
Either the blue bubble or the entire screen will be animated depending on the effect you choose.
Animations appear automatically when sending a message that says “Happy birthday,” “Congratulations” or “Happy New Year.”
How do I react or respond to a text?
Whether you’re in a group text or carrying on multiple conversations in one message, things can get confusing.
Android and Apple devices allow users to reply to a specific message. It creates a thread and links related conversations to each other, making it easy to follow conversations.
To reply on Apple or Android devices, double tap or long press on the message and the ‘reply’ option should appear.
Type your message, then hit send!
This only works when you message from one Apple device to another Apple device or from Android to another Android.
If you want to respond without words, ‘reacting’ to a message is the way to go.
To react to a message, double-tap or long-press the message and select the desired option.
Watch this video that shows a demonstration of answering and replying to a text.
How do I edit an iMessage?
To edit a text message:
- Press firmly on the message bubble you want to edit
- Tap ‘edit’
- Make the changes you want
- Press the check mark to save the changes
Edits can only be made within 15 minutes of sending the message.
Deleting a message is very similar to editing one, but it can only be done within two minutes of sending.
To unsend the message:
- Press firmly on the message bubble
- Select “unsend” from the dropdown menu
This feature is only available if both devices are running iOS16 or higher.
Learn more about not sending and editing text messages here.