iOS 8: A Take Control Crash Course
by Josh Centers

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Sending a Message in iOS 8

Messages has evolved from a simple SMS (text message) app into a capable messenger that also supports Apple’s free iMessage service. iOS 8 adds exciting features, including voice and video messages .

① 	iOS 8 adds several new messaging options, including Voice Messages.

① iOS 8 adds several new messaging options, including Voice Messages.

This chapter looks at the basics of setting up Messages and sending different types of messages. The next chapter has additional tips that focus on new iOS 8 features.

Setting up iMessage

  1. Go to Settings > Messages and turn on the iMessage switch .
    ② 	If you can’t get iMessage to work, make sure it’s enabled in Settings > Messages.

    ② If you can’t get iMessage to work, make sure it’s enabled in Settings > Messages.

  2. Adjust the Send Read Receipts switch, depending on whether want to send read receipts, which tell those you’re conversing with if you’ve read their messages.
  3. Tap Send & Receive. Select your iPhone number and any email addresses where you wish receive iMessages.
  4. Still on the Send & Receive screen, choose which phone number or email address you wish your iMessages to originate from.

    Tip: You can choose the tone that’s played when a message arrives in Settings > Sounds > Text Tone.

  5. (iPhone only, back on the main Messages setup screen) If an iMessage fails to send successfully from an iPhone with a phone plan, Messages can send it as an SMS message instead. Enable this feature in Settings > Messages > Send as SMS.
  6. (iPhone only) You can relay SMS/MMS messages to your other Apple devices. See New! Text Message Forwarding, next chapter, for details.
  7. Set any other switches on the Messages setup screen as desired; you can always come back here later to adjust your settings.

Note that on an iPhone, even if you have iMessage enabled, you can still send SMS/MMS messages. In fact, if you send to a phone number (rather than an iMessage-registered email address), that message will be sent as SMS/MMS unless the recipient is also an iMessage user with that phone number registered with iMessage.

SMS vs. iMessage

SMS (Short Message System) and MMS (Multimedia Messaging System) are methods of sending short text messages (or, for MMS, short text messages with multimedia attachments) over a cellular network. They’re fast and convenient, but SMS limits text to 160 characters, they work only between cellular phones (except with Apple’s New! Text Message Forwarding), and many phone carriers charge per message (or provide a limited number of messages per month, charging for any above that limit).

iMessage is Apple’s alternative to SMS and MMS. iMessage allows encrypted messages of unlimited length, those messages are sent over a standard Internet connection, and messages can be sent and received by the Messages app on any recent iOS device or Mac. The downside is that you can exchange messages only with other iMessage users.

The Messages app can handle both SMS/MMS and iMessage messages. The former appear in green bubbles, while the latter appear in blue bubbles.

Starting a Simple Message

  1. In the Messages app, tap the Compose icon.
  2. Start typing a contact name or phone number in the To field. You can keep typing or tap to accept a suggestion.
  3. Enter your note in the message field and tap Send.

Attaching Photos or Videos

Tap the camera icon to the left of the message field to choose either an item from your photo library [Paragraph has no list item.] or take a new photo or video on the spot.

③ 	To insert a recent photo quickly, tap the camera icon to see a swipeable strip of recent photos. Tap a recent photo to attach it.

③ To insert a recent photo quickly, tap the camera icon to see a swipeable strip of recent photos. Tap a recent photo to attach it.

Photo Messages

  1. Press and hold the camera icon next to the message field until a partial circle pops up, showing a camera icon at the top .
    ④ 	To take and send a picture, tap the camera icon. To take a video, tap the red button. Tap x to cancel.

    ④ To take and send a picture, tap the camera icon. To take a video, tap the red button. Tap x to cancel.

  2. Tap the camera icon to take a photo and send it. Be careful, you don’t get to review the photo!

Video Messages

  1. Press and hold the camera icon next to the message field until a partial circle pops up, with a red record button at the right.
  2. Tap the red button to begin recording. Tap it again to stop.
  3. Tap the Play button to preview your video, delete it by tapping the x, or send it by tapping the arrow button.

To play a video message you’ve received, tap the Play button in the middle of the picture preview.

Voice Messages

You can exchange nifty audio messages with other iOS 8 iMessage users.

Press and hold the microphone button to the right of the message box. When a partial circle appears, recording starts, and you see an audio wave and a timer to the left. Don’t lift your finger until you’re done recording. Let go of the button to stop recording.

Tap the Play button for a preview, delete the recording by tapping the x, or send it by tapping the arrow.

To listen to a voice message you’ve received, tap the Play button on it . Alternatively, you can simply hold the iPhone up to your ear.

⑤ 	To listen to a voice message, tap the triangular Play button.

⑤ To listen to a voice message, tap the triangular Play button.

Video Attachments vs. Messages

You can take a video and attach it to a message, or you can send a video message, but what’s the difference?

An attached video stays on the recipient’s device unless it is deleted manually (tap it and then tap More).

After a recipient plays a video message, Keep appears beneath the message. If the recipient does not tap Keep within 2 minutes, the video is deleted, thus freeing storage space. The same is true on the sender’s device—the sender can tap Keep. (To keep all video messages, tap Settings > Messages and under Video Messages tap Expire > Never.)

You can’t control the recipient’s device. The Keep/Never setting helps with managing storage space but doesn’t help with privacy by making videos autodelete from a recipient’s device.

The same Keep/Never behavior occurs with voice messages.

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“Aha! The trick to sending audio in iOS 8’s Messages app is to keep pressing the mic button until you finish talking.”

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