Rumor: iOS 18 Will Finally Let You React to iMessages With Any Emoji

iOS 18 will introduce at least two changes to the Tapback feature in the Messages app on the iPhone, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.

iMessage Emoji Tapback MockupAn emoji Tapback menu on iOS 18 (concept)

Introduced with iOS 10, Tapback icons are the heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, "HA HA" symbol, exclamation marks, and question mark that can be added to messages. In a report outlining his WWDC expectations, Gurman said these icons will look more colorful on iOS 18, whereas they currently have very basic designs.

More significantly, he said the Tapback system will work with any emoji starting on iOS 18, providing users with hundreds of new options to choose from. This means the Messages app would finally support in-line emoji reactions, a feature that other messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger, and Telegram have offered for a long time. Currently, the Messages app only allows emoji to be added to messages as stickers.

It is unclear if the revamped Tapback system will also work with the AI-generated emoji feature previously reported to be coming with iOS 18.

Another much-requested feature coming to the Messages app with iOS 18 is the ability to schedule a message to be sent later, according to Gurman.

Apple will unveil iOS 18 and other major software updates for its platforms during its WWDC keynote, which will be live streamed via the Apple Events website, YouTube, Apple TV app, and Apple Developer app on June 10 starting at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. The new Messages features would extend to the iPad and Mac.

Related Roundups: iOS 18, iPadOS 18
Related Forums: iOS 18, iPadOS 18

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Top Rated Comments

The Clark Avatar
2 weeks ago
That's cool, I've wanted this for a long time now.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
glsillygili Avatar
2 weeks ago
Killer feature
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
phenste Avatar
2 weeks ago

The "Add Sticker" and then selecting any emoji gives us that ability right now yea?
in the most stilted, awkward fashion possible. stickers appear lazily slapped over the message, giving horribly uneven margins to everything in the thread. emojis can’t be found using the search function, limiting you to scrolling through the emoji and praying you don’t accidentally tap on the wrong one, otherwise you’re pretty much stuck with it. this was my attempt to show you using an iMessage thread with myself. the two emoji besides the facepalm were accidental.



this is an embarrassingly overdue update when Apple consistently touts themselves as having best-in-class messaging. other apps have made inline emoji reaction incredibly simple for years where Apple has not.

Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemilktea Avatar
2 weeks ago
I foresee this leading to a glorious eggplant emoji renaissance. :p
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iksretep Avatar
2 weeks ago
The "Add Sticker" and then selecting any emoji gives us that ability right now yea?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dz5b609 Avatar
2 weeks ago
iOS updates really have become 90% iMessage updates, which the majority of non-US countries just don't use. :(
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)