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iOS 8 Messages upgrades: View attachments, share location, Do Not Disturb, exit group chat, more

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Group messaging and content sharing in the iOS 8 Messages application are greatly enhanced, giving users the ability to silence alerts from specific conversations, quickly view attachments from a thread, and even actively share their location with friends for a set period of time.




In the first beta of iOS 8, users can access all of the new options in the Messages app by tapping the "Details" link in the upper right corner when in a specific conversation thread. In a one-on-one chat, this menu shows a person's contact info and gives the ability to share current location with an embedded Maps link, which even works with iOS 7 and Mavericks users.

iOS 8 Messages also gives users the ability to continuously share their active location with fellow iOS users for three set periods: one hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely.

Individual conversations also come with a "Do Not Disturb" switch, so that sounds and vibrations from a potentially active conversation will not continuously go off.




The "Details" menu also includes a convenient list of message attachments. This allows users to view images, locations and any other content that may have been shared in the conversation, without the need to scroll up and find what they are looking for among text messages.

Attachments can also be deleted from this section, paring down the amount of content to something more manageable. Multiple items can also be selected and either saved to the camera roll or deleted.




Additional functions are added to the "Details" menu when the conversation is a group chat. These conversations can now be given subjects in iOS 8, and that name will be shown at the top of the thread as well as in the main menu for Messages.

Users can also add a contact to a group thread, and location sharing options as well as the "Do Not Disturb" switch are also available.




Finally, group messages also include a "Leave this Conversation" option that will no doubt be welcome to users who may be unwilling participants in a particularly chatty ongoing thread.



These advanced options in Messages are in addition to the time saving additions of a new quick-send images function, as well as a quick-reply option via notification banners. Those functions, along with a new quick voice memo button, can be found in the video above.

iOS 8 also adds the ability to automatically delete message threads over a period of time, saving space not only on an iOS device, but also in iCloud backups. And the Messages app also gains Apple's new QuickType keyboard with suggested words, as well as support for system-wide third-party keyboards from companies like Swype, Fleksy and SwiftKey.
post #2 of 29
Leaving group texts is the best part of iOS 8.

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post #3 of 29
Despite all the amazing enhancements being promised in iOS 8, but if they don't update Maps to include better mass transit information or fix the inconsistencies in the data shown in apps that use maps (like Find My Phone), it will be a disappointment to me.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Leaving group texts is the best part of iOS 8.

Millions of parents all over the world will love this feature!

post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post

Despite all the amazing enhancements being promised in iOS 8, but if they don't update Maps to include better mass transit information or fix the inconsistencies in the data shown in apps that use maps (like Find My Phone), it will be a disappointment to me.

Then it will be a disappointment to you. Not that there aren't improvements, but if you think there will ever be a state where they will be "done", you are going to be disappointed. Google maps still gives me errors and it has been around for way longer than Apple Maps. They both just get better, but none will be perfect.

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post #6 of 29
I'm really surprised they didn't announce transit directions in maps. I wonder if they're saving that for the iPhone 6 announcement... or if it's not going to be in ios8 at all :|
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

I'm really surprised they didn't announce transit directions in maps. I wonder if they're saving that for the iPhone 6 announcement... or if it's not going to be in ios8 at all :|

 

Aren't there numerous third-party solutions?

 

Like even... Google Maps?

post #8 of 29

Question: When someone shares their location with the members of a group conversation, are those permissions replicated to the Find My Friends app? In other words, are the location sharing permissions between Apple IDs and independent of whether their viewed in Messages app Group Conversation A, Messages app Group Conversation B, Find My Friends app, etc?

post #9 of 29

Question: When someone shares their location with the members of a group conversation, are those permissions replicated to the Find My Friends app? In other words, are the location sharing permissions between Apple IDs and independent of whether their viewed in Messages app Group Conversation A, Messages app Group Conversation B, Find My Friends app, etc?

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post

Despite all the amazing enhancements being promised in iOS 8, but if they don't update Maps to include better mass transit information or fix the inconsistencies in the data shown in apps that use maps (like Find My Phone), it will be a disappointment to me.


have you tried google maps? i've found the transit info to be great!

post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by websnap View Post
 

Then it will be a disappointment to you. Not that there aren't improvements, but if you think there will ever be a state where they will be "done", you are going to be disappointed. Google maps still gives me errors and it has been around for way longer than Apple Maps. They both just get better, but none will be perfect.

I don't need it to be perfect or done. And I prefer it over Google Maps for the reasons you state above (and more). My personal experience is unique to me (thank you for stating the obvious that I already stated). Not everyone lives in NYC. And of the people living in NYC, not everyone cares about being able to see mass transit lines while looking at Maps. And of those people, not everyone cares about Brooklyn being labelled as Long Island. I just wish they would stop trailing Google maps in these couple aspects that are important to my life.

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieWallieWhiskers View Post
 


have you tried google maps? i've found the transit info to be great!

I have tried Google maps. You're right, the transit info is helpful. But unfortunately Google maps is slightly clunky enough in usability and prone to enough direction errors for me not to rely on it. So I keep it buried in a folder that I rarely dig into.

post #13 of 29

How do you actually find someone's location, if they're sharing it? Do they just send you a message with a map, like in the article? It would be neat if I knew some of my friends were nearby and I could just open Maps and see a pin where they are, because they're sharing their location. Or even if I specifically had to type one of their names, as if they were a store or restaurant, and then have a pin and route to find them.

post #14 of 29
Whatsapp & Wechat have had most of the functionality that iMessage has gained in iOS8 a long time ago.

Maybe the core iOS apps should me be made available for updates throughout the year for new features and functions.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post

Despite all the amazing enhancements being promised in iOS 8, but if they don't update Maps to include better mass transit information or fix the inconsistencies in the data shown in apps that use maps (like Find My Phone), it will be a disappointment to me.

Even though Maps is a standard application included with iOS it should be considered an application separate from the OS.Especially now that it is a universal Mac/iOS app. Development is continuing and it's very likely that Maps wasn't ready to show at WWDC. I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up in one of the developer beta releases for both OS's.

Transit directions are the missing link. Apple has been working very hard on turn by turn and fly over. Realtime traffic, road construction, and accident reporting are very very well done. I commute from the southern suburbs of St. Paul into downtown Minneapolis. I ask Siri What's the quickest route to work? She's given me alternate routes and has never steered me wrong. Maps also adjusts my arrival time bases on my speed. Transit is coming. Just because they didn't announce it Monday doesn't mean it's not happening soon. It's a dual OS project.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by carloblackmore View Post
 

I don't need it to be perfect or done. And I prefer it over Google Maps for the reasons you state above (and more). My personal experience is unique to me (thank you for stating the obvious that I already stated). Not everyone lives in NYC. And of the people living in NYC, not everyone cares about being able to see mass transit lines while looking at Maps. And of those people, not everyone cares about Brooklyn being labelled as Long Island. I just wish they would stop trailing Google maps in these couple aspects that are important to my life.

 

That's fair (it wasn't apparent to me when I read your comment). I don't live in NYC, I live In Winnipeg, Manitoba and I have to admit, it's been great when (being a smaller city) you would expect it not to be. I use the transit system here for commuting to work and I have found the Transit App (which uses Apple's maps) to be extremely reliable (and it's free). Have you given that a shot? it has features (like routes near me & "starring" favourite routes) that Apple maps would likely not add.


Edited by websnap - 6/5/14 at 11:11am
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post #17 of 29

Apple can update that on the backend.  It doesn't need to be launched with iOS 8, and certainly not mentioned at a developers conference. 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by simtub View Post

Whatsapp & Wechat have had most of the functionality that iMessage has gained in iOS8 a long time ago.

Maybe the core iOS apps should me be made available for updates throughout the year for new features and functions.


That does happen. The dialer in the current 7.1.1 has evolved from the one in 7.0

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post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by LighteningKid View Post
 

How do you actually find someone's location, if they're sharing it? Do they just send you a message with a map, like in the article? It would be neat if I knew some of my friends were nearby and I could just open Maps and see a pin where they are, because they're sharing their location. Or even if I specifically had to type one of their names, as if they were a store or restaurant, and then have a pin and route to find them.

This is exactly what Apple's app Find My Friends does. It appears that the messages location feature is just making the service more available...

post #20 of 29

Will people know that you are leaving a group text? For instance, my friends send out big group texts a lot, and, then you get a couple people that talk between themselves. I don't really care for it, so I'd like to leave, but I don't want a message to say "Tyler has left the conversation" cause I think it's kind of rude and passive aggressive. 

post #21 of 29
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
Will people know that you are leaving a group text? For instance, my friends send out big group texts a lot, and, then you get a couple people that talk between themselves. I don't really care for it, so I'd like to leave, but I don't want a message to say "Tyler has left the conversation" cause I think it's kind of rude and passive aggressive. 

 

I’m of two minds here.

 

On one hand, BCC would be nice as a feature. On the other, don’t freaking spam everyone in your contacts, for heaven’s sake.

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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
 

Will people know that you are leaving a group text? For instance, my friends send out big group texts a lot, and, then you get a couple people that talk between themselves. I don't really care for it, so I'd like to leave, but I don't want a message to say "Tyler has left the conversation" cause I think it's kind of rude and passive aggressive. 

It is passive aggressive- there is a DND feature that just ignores you where it doesnt notify you- so that's one way.

 

Me?  Id like them to know... eventually I wont be included in as many because "hes a grouch".  Oh well.  haha

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post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by websnap View Post
 

 

That's fair (it wasn't apparent to me when I read your comment). I don't live in NYC, I live In Winnipeg, Manitoba and I have to admit, it's been great when (being a smaller city) you would expect it not to be. I use the transit system here for commuting to work and I have found the Transit App (which uses Apple's maps) to be extremely reliable (and it's free). Have you given that a shot? it has features (like routes near me & "starring" favourite routes) that Apple maps would likely not add.

Thanks for reminding me about Transit App – they've updated it to be even better. Unfortunately, Transit App is one of those apps I absolutely love, but always end up removing when I realize it's still missing a map overlay of the all the lines. In a city like NYC that has a high density of transit lines in a small area with a complex array of options, intersections, decision points, and disruptions/detours every hour of every day, I think it's critical to see a birds-eye of the entire "spaghetti" system (as Massimo Vignelli called it).

 

Many apps out there offer a map of a system, or offer great directions and route details (like Transit App), but no app I've found does both well. It makes me wonder if there's a conflict of those two features on a data level? Exit Strategy is the transit app I keep. It shows a map of all NYC's lines in a familiar format, with an extra bonus of showing how the train doors match with the station exits. NYC trains and stations are very long, spanning many city blocks with multiple exits. So it's a huge bonus. But it has no directions feature, or integration with Apple maps, or time scheduling (which is not a huge loss since NYC transit is rarely on-time).

 

Like you said before, perfection is not the name of the game, but as soon as Apple includes transit lines in Maps I'll finally be able to consolidate my daily navigation into one app.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
 

Will people know that you are leaving a group text? For instance, my friends send out big group texts a lot, and, then you get a couple people that talk between themselves. I don't really care for it, so I'd like to leave, but I don't want a message to say "Tyler has left the conversation" cause I think it's kind of rude and passive aggressive. 

I'd guess if a person left a group text, their name would have to disappear from the main label for that thread? So people would know you left if they cared to pay attention to the main label.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by simtub View Post

Whatsapp & Wechat have had most of the functionality that iMessage has gained in iOS8 a long time ago.
 

 

I don't think it is a fair comparison.

The raison d'etre for Whatsapp and Wechat is messaging. For iOS, Messaging is just one part of a huge system.

 

As iOS evolves, some parts of the system are updated with more things than others. For iOS 8, Messaging was one that got some neat updates.

post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post
 

 

Aren't there numerous third-party solutions?

 

Like even... Google Maps?

 

Third party directions UX leaves a lot to be desired, especially Google Maps. As with most things Google, the data is good but the interface sucks.


Edited by freediverx - 6/6/14 at 1:09am
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeb View Post

I'm really surprised they didn't announce transit directions in maps. I wonder if they're saving that for the iPhone 6 announcement... or if it's not going to be in ios8 at all :|

 

I like your Mona Lisa emojum. Neither a smile nor a frown.


Edited by Benjamin Frost - 6/6/14 at 2:44pm
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post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by aruhlig View Post
 

Question: When someone shares their location with the members of a group conversation, are those permissions replicated to the Find My Friends app? In other words, are the location sharing permissions between Apple IDs and independent of whether their viewed in Messages app Group Conversation A, Messages app Group Conversation B, Find My Friends app, etc?

 

Answer: you only need to put a question mark at the end of the sentence to denote that it's a question; no need to put 'Question:' at the beginning.

 

I don't know the answers to your questions, otherwise.

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post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post
 

Will people know that you are leaving a group text? For instance, my friends send out big group texts a lot, and, then you get a couple people that talk between themselves. I don't really care for it, so I'd like to leave, but I don't want a message to say "Tyler has left the conversation" cause I think it's kind of rude and passive aggressive. 

 

Maybe to avoid the passive aggressiveness, the message will say, "Tyler would dearly love to carry on the conversation, but has decided to gracefully bow out, in order not to dominate the conversation and to let others have a say. He hopes you have a great group text and looks forward to conversing with you again in the not-too-distant future."

 

Apple might consider it a bit long, though.

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