iOS 7 feature focus: Deleting texts, checking timestamps, & disabling 'short names' in Messages

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
There's more than meets the eye in Apple's new Messages application for iOS 7, with a few key features hidden away, some of which are only accessible with touchscreen gestures.

Messages


In previous versions of iOS, Apple only provided users with the occasional timestamp in its Messages application. The reason for this was easy to see: By only showing a time sent or received for certain messages, Apple was able to reduce onscreen clutter while still giving users relevant data.

The company has employed the same approach in iOS 7, but has given users the ability to check the timestamp of each individual text, picture, video or iMessage with a hidden feature: By swiping your finger to the left and "pulling" the messages over, a complete list of timestamps for individual messages can be viewed.

Also hidden beneath the surface in the iOS 7 Messages application is the ability to delete individual text messages. While a dedicated "Edit" button was visible in previous versions of iOS, starting with iOS 7 that button has been removed, allowing quick access to what is likely a more useful "Contact" button.

But users can still delete individual messages by tapping and holding their finger on a text bubble. This pops up a menu that gives two options: "Copy" and "More?"

Messages


By selecting the second, the screen layout becomes modified with a series of new options. Check-able circles are now available to the left of each individual message, allowing users to select a number at once.

On the bottom of the screen are two icons: a trash can on the left for deleting the selected messages, and a Share Sheets link on the right for forwarding the selected messages.

When in "More" mode, the top of the screen also adds a "Delete All" option for quickly clearing a conversation. Users can also back out of the mode by selecting "Cancel" in the upper right.

Messages


Finally, users who upgrade to iOS 7 may notice that by default, when a conversation is open in Messages, only the recipient's first name is displayed. This can actually be changed and customized in the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" section of the iOS Settings application.

Under "Contacts," simply choose "Short Name" to access another menu. From there, the shortened name option can be enabled or disabled.

If it's turned on, users are presented with a range of options: first name and last initial; first initial and last name; first name only; or last name only. An option to prefer contacts' nicknames is also available to toggle.

For more, see AppleInsider's Inside iOS 7: Messages. Highlighted capabilities of Apple's new mobile operating system are also being detailed in the ongoing iOS 7 feature focus series.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    I liked the green background for iMessages and the blue for "cellular cost" messages. Too bad they removed or hid that feature.
  • Reply 2 of 14
    fh-ace wrote: »
    I liked the green background for iMessages and the blue for "cellular cost" messages. Too bad they removed or hid that feature.

    Huh? iMessages are blue, SMS are green, and they've always been like that.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    Ok, senior moment. Lol. Got the colors reversed and had only received iMessages since installing os7. Lol
  • Reply 4 of 14
    fh-ace wrote: »
    Ok, senior moment. Lol. Got the colors reversed and had only received iMessages since installing os7. Lol

    Just wait till you do get an SMS. It looks radioactive in color.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by fh-ace View Post



    I liked the green background for iMessages and the blue for "cellular cost" messages. Too bad they removed or hid that feature.

     

    It was the other way around - blue was iMessage, green counted as text. It hasn't changed.

  • Reply 6 of 14
    After installing iOS7 one of my friends went from "his name" to "home". Now I know why- apparently my Contacts thinks his nickname is "home". I turned that off%u2026
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post

    apparently my Contacts thinks his nickname is home". I turned that off%u2026

     

    Or just change it.

  • Reply 8 of 14
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post



    After installing iOS7 one of my friends went from "his name" to "home". Now I know why- apparently my Contacts thinks his nickname is "home". I turned that off%u2026

     

    Easy to use Siri to change nicknames and alter pronunciations.

  • Reply 9 of 14
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,797member

    How many of you think the green bubbles with white text will last with iOS 8? It is really annoying to me at least. So much harder to read than the black text in the bubbles before. Perhaps if it were a darker shade of green and blue it might be easier on the eyes but I am having a hard time getting used to it. I haven't jailbroken my phone since iOS 5 but might be tempted to again just to change  text message, the phone dialer, and a few other color choices I don't like very much. 

  • Reply 10 of 14
    gwmac wrote: »
    How many of you think the green bubbles with white text will last with iOS 8? It is really annoying to me at least. So much harder to read than the black text in the bubbles before. Perhaps if it were a darker shade of green and blue it might be easier on the eyes but I am having a hard time getting used to it. I haven't jailbroken my phone since iOS 5 but might be tempted to again just to change  text message, the phone dialer, and a few other color choices I don't like very much. 

    Apple probably wants you to just use iMessage lol.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    An option to prefer contacts' nicknames is also available to toggle.

    As far as I can tell, the Nicknames come up in apps like Messages, but not in Contacts/Phone rendering this feature useless!?!

    Otherwise would be awesome as could put A, A's Dad, Bank Manager, etc.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,797member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pendergast View Post





    Apple probably wants you to just use iMessage lol.

     

    I have no control on what phone the people that text me use though. But even the blue/white is not as nice as the old blue/black to me at least. 

  • Reply 13 of 14
    gwmac wrote: »
    I have no control on what phone the people that text me use though. But even the blue/white is not as nice as the old blue/black to me at least. 

    I was joking. Although for me and my "circle", it's rare when I get the hideous green.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Nice article, thumbs up. I'd add some more hidden (or not so obvious) features to it from here: http://www.copytrans.net/blog/hidden-features-in-ios-7/
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