Hands-On With Digital Touch, Bubble Effects, Apps and More in iOS 10's Messages

According to Apple, Messages is the most used iOS app, and for that reason, it got a lot of attention in iOS 10. Messages has been completely revamped with features to make conversations more personalized, expressive, and fun.

As can be seen in the video below, background animations, like balloons, confetti, and fireworks can be sent along with messages to make an impact, and a new "Bubble Effects" feature lets users send iMessage chat bubbles with different animated effects to add emotion to each message.


Digital Touch, the sketching feature of the Apple Watch, is coming to Messages. Digital Touch can be used to create little sketches, send a heartbeat, and send taps, and on iOS devices, you can Digital Touch over photos and videos.

Photos can be taken directly in the Messages app and edited with new built-in editing tools. There's also a new Markup feature that can be used to annotate images with text, sketches, and more.

Emoji in the Messages app are now three times larger when sent alone, and there's a new predictive Emoji feature that will automatically suggest words that can be replaced with emoji symbols. An invisible ink feature lets you send messages that stay hidden until a finger slides over them, and there's a tool for sending handwritten notes to friends.

A "Tapback" feature for lets users quickly respond to messages with symbols like a heart or a thumbs up, and Messages now supports rich links so it's possible to view content in line and do things like play Apple Music songs without leaving the Messages app.

The biggest change to Messages is a dedicated Messages App Store, which allows developers to create apps that are used exclusively in Messages. Stickers and GIFs can be added to message threads through apps, and more powerful capabilities, like sending payments or scheduling a dinner can also be done through apps without leaving Messages.

In case you missed them, make sure to check out our seven minute WWDC 2016 video, which features a quick rundown on all of the new iOS, macOS Sierra, tvOS, and watchOS features Apple introduced this week, our video highlighting iOS 10's overhauled Lock screen, and a video on the new features in the Photos app. Make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors, because we've got more in-depth software videos in the works.

Top Rated Comments

MistrSynistr Avatar
62 months ago
this is dumb as hell.
Score: 89 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
62 months ago
I just don't care about emojis and all kinds of bobbles and jingles on my messages. Has everyone become a little girl all of a sudden?
This mentality is why the guy who runs snapchat is rolling in mountains of money while you're here complaining about how dumb his type of product is.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mums Avatar
62 months ago
this is dumb as hell.
I just don't care about emojis and all kinds of bobbles and jingles on my messages. Has everyone become a little girl all of a sudden?
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiseAJ Avatar
62 months ago
Every message I send will be the slam bubble effect followed by a full screen fireworks text
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KALLT Avatar
62 months ago
Can the recipient turn off these animations and stickers and such?
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LordQ Avatar
62 months ago
I was really looking forward to iMessage for Android and sending money via Apple Pay as rumored, but got 3x bigger emojis :(
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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