Everything new with Messages in iOS 14

Posted:
in iOS edited June 2020
Apple's iOS 14 has brought a lot of improvements to the Messages app, including Memoji, better group chats, and much more. We took the new features for a spin to see the next evolution of Apple's messaging platform.

Messages in iOS 14
Messages in iOS 14

Conversation organization






With Messages in iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur, Apple looks to make things more organized and more expressive. We see this with group conversations -- more on that in a moment -- but there are many other changes too.

Pinned conversation in iOS 14
Pinned conversation in iOS 14


Right when you open the app message threads can now be pinned. Swipe from left to right and tap the pin to pin up to nine conversations at the top of the Messages app.

When messages are pinned, they are kept readily at hand, right up top. They also have cute animations when someone sends you a message, whether from a group or just one person. It will even show a preview of the message around their image before you tap into it.

Fist bump Memoji sticker
Fist bump Memoji sticker


We get three new Memoji stickers with in iOS 14 as well. Those additions include hugs, a fist bump, and blushing, joining the massive list of others Apple has continued to add over the years.

Face mask option when designing Memoji
Face mask option when designing Memoji


As for Memoji themselves, we have new style options. There are more than 16 new headwear pieces including graduation mortarboard, swim cap, nurse cap, and biking helmet. There are also options for face-covering masks in various colors, nine age options, and new hairstyles like man bun, top knot, and simple side part.

More expressive Memoji characters
More expressive Memoji characters


Memoji animated characters you create with Memoji are more expressive. Apple has remapped the facial muscles so that they better represent your face and can be more expressive.

Gather your friends

Group conversations are popular with any messaging app, including iMessage. But they can easily get confusing and flood your phone with surplus notifications. With iOS 14, grouped chats now feature mentions and threaded replies to help bring peace to your groups.

Mentions in Messages in iOS 14
Mentions in Messages in iOS 14


To mention someone, just type their name and it will highlight. Tap the highlighted name and a bubble will appear above with the contact you are trying to mention. Tap that and you are good to go. When a conversation is muted, you will still receive alerts when someone mentions you by name.

Threaded replies are easy as well. You can go back to any message, tap and hold, and hit reply. Your recent reply will show at the bottom of the chat as most recent, but it will also show the originating message in a smaller font to the left with a line connecting them. You can view this all from the main chat, or tap on the original message to view just the threaded replies.

Threaded replies in iOS 14
Threaded replies in iOS 14


Groups can also now have images set for them as well as the custom name. Choose from a picture, an emoji, or any of your Memoji stickers.

And those pinned messages we talked about before, they also work better for groups. The image will still be at the center with everyone's bubble around it. Those who are most active in the convo, their images will be larger and even highlighted when they send a message.

Upgrades across the ecosystem

While we focused here on iOS, Apple didn't stop with that. Messages have been upgraded across Apple's ecosystem.

Assign images to groups in iOS 14
Assign images to groups in iOS 14


The Mac specifically was overhauled, getting a new Catalyst-based app that brings message effects, Memoji, and all the other features we explored here such as the threaded replies, improved group conversations, and pinned threads.

No matter where you are using iMessage, Apple is devoted to making it the best place to converse with friends. At least if they too have an iPhone.

Existing features

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    zeroIDzeroID Posts: 13member
    Apple should group the iMessages with FaceTime to have a universal app like Wire, Signal etc, or allow to remove iMessages an FaceTime leaving the choice on customer. Messages on iPhone should be exclusively sms text.
    roundaboutnow
  • Reply 2 of 9
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,917member
    No matter how many new features Apple add to the iMessage; until save as draft and the last message opened/typed response(but not yet sent) moves to top of the list is not there than water under the bridge... I use iMessage zillion time a day but I still admire that feature in Google Message App on Android.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    JBSloughJBSlough Posts: 92member
    zeroID said:
    Apple should group the iMessages with FaceTime to have a universal app like Wire, Signal etc, or allow to remove iMessages an FaceTime leaving the choice on customer. Messages on iPhone should be exclusively sms text.
    Wasn’t it like that on the Mac once? Think it was called iChat.
    edited June 2020 entropys
  • Reply 4 of 9
    theringthering Posts: 1member
    They also added a brand new UI for filtering unknown senders which is amazing! It now filters both SMS & iMessages. Haven't tried yet installing an SMS spam extension but it seems like this has been improved too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 9
    jman70jman70 Posts: 5member
    I wish they would already introduce the option to schedule the time that a message is sent. Apparently Android can do this and apps, such as Telegram do this too. It's very convenient when texting people in other time zones, when you know it's the middle of the night for them and don't want to disturb them if they haven't switched their phone to silent, or if you need to remind someone about something at a particular time. 
    MplsPJapheywatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 9
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,199member
    From your demo it looks like MS Teams done right (and not cross platform of course).
    I would expect MS will now be busily working out how to add as many of these features as possible to the chat function in Teams.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 9
    zeroID said:
    Apple should group the iMessages with FaceTime to have a universal app like Wire, Signal etc, or allow to remove iMessages an FaceTime leaving the choice on customer. Messages on iPhone should be exclusively sms text.
    Not a bad idea. At least include the screen sharing options that are in Messages on FaceTime too. It seems more intuitive to invite or ask to share the screen (a visual interaction), when in the midst of a visual interaction like FaceTime.

    PS: I'm a bit ashamed to admit that it was only recently that I discovered that there were screen share options in Messages on Mac (hover over name to reveal drop down arrow, then select the desired option).
    matrix077watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 9


    Face mask option when designing Memoji
    Face mask option when designing Memoji
    Interesting how cameras are sensitive to IR light, and render it visible (little red dot of light in right side of notch). Note that it is only on when needed for face scan.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 9
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,302member
    Does anybody know which, if any, of these new group message features will work if someone in the group doesn't have an iPhone? It happens. :D
    watto_cobra
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