Tons of new features make iOS 8’s Messages app more powerful than ever. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
I’ve pretty much become a full-time texter these days, using Apple’s Messages app on my Mac and iPhone to send iMessages (to friends and contacts who use iOS or OS X) as well as regular text messages (to people outside the Apple ecosystem).
iOS 8 brings great new changes to the mobile version of the Messages app, some of which might not be immediately apparent. Here’s a look at the new features and how best to use them.
Sometimes, you might have a certain someone who gets a little, shall we say, overzealous in trying to message you. Since your iPhone and Mac can both receive iMessages, you might get interrupted by the flurry of messages from this certain contact.
While you can block iMessage senders on your iPhone or iPad, it hasn’t been possible in Mac OS X Mavericks until the latest update to 10.9.2, available through the Software Update panel of the Mac App Store.
Now, though, you can block and unblock any contact in your Contacts app with aplomb, right from your Mac.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to do in my car (as I drive to and fro taking my kids to and from school, music lessons, and soccer practice) is to read my emails and text messages. But taking your eyes off the road is bad, mmmkay?
You can always turn on VoiceOver before you get in the car to read your screen to you, but it involves a whole lot of tapping and different gestures, so it’s kind of impractical to use on a non-regular basis.
Luckily, in iOS 7, you can now get Siri to read your email and your iMessages to you with a simple spoken command.
Probably a spoofing attempt to get your iTunes ID.
Good thing you listened to us this morning when we posted about a new Google Play app that seemed to let you send Apple iMessages via an Android app.
When something seems to good to be true, it usually is.
Fairly clear, right? As we pointed out this morning, the iMessage Chat app for Android devices turned out to be sending data, including users’ Apple IDs, through another server in China, which is kind of an easy way to steal people’s sensitive information. Apple IDs and passwords can be used to purchase apps, books, and music from the App Store, as well as connect to iCloud data, which can have addresses and more personal info.
It used to be simple to delete text messages from your iPhone (or, I suppose, your iPad if you use iMessages), but with iOS 7, the cute little Edit button has gone away from the upper right corner. Instead, there’s a Contact button up there, which–while useful–used up the space where the Edit button used to be.
You can still delete entire message conversations by swiping to the left in the list of all your text messages, but how do you delete specific messages within a conversation? Swiping to the left just shows you the timestamps of the messages.
Did you know, however, that you can reply to iMessages sent to you in that very same Notification Center? If not, read on and learn how to do so, and how to make sure that your Mac is set up correctly to allow it to happen.
In previous versions of iOS, the date and time stamps of iMessages you sent and received were printed right in the app, above the iMessages they pertained to.
Not so in iOS 7, with only a date stamp showing up at the top of each segment of messages that come in on a particular day. If you want to know what time those messages came in or were sent, it looked as if you were out of luck.
But wait! There’s more! Turns out that you can, in fact, see a time stamp for every message in the Messages app. Here’s how to access it.
One of the coolest things about Messages is the cross-device functionality, in that you can send messages to and from your Mac and your iOS devices. I use it while at work to chat with folks who text me from their iPhone; it’s a really handy way to avoid using a tiny screen while at work, not to mention letting you keep your iPHone in a bag, instead of beeping or vibrating on your desk.
Now, though, you can send an iMessage in the Notification Center in OS X Mavericks beta. Here’s how.