Messages in iOS 10: How to Send Handwritten Notes

by

The Messages app in iOS 10 has been entirely overhauled, adding a slew of new capabilities that make it more fun to keep in touch with friends and family. One of the more personal touches added to Messages is a new handwriting feature, which allows users to send handwritten messages to their loved ones.

Using the handwriting feature is simple, but it's also a bit hidden on the iPhone, because the button to activate it won't show up unless you're in landscape mode. Here's how to do it:

  1. On an iPhone, turn it to landscape mode. On the iPad, you can use handwriting in landscape or portrait mode.

    handwrittennote

  2. Tap the handwriting squiggle to the right of the return key on the iPhone or to the right of the number key on the iPad. On the iPhone 6 and 6s, the handwriting screen will pop up automatically.
  3. Use a finger to write whatever you would like to say on the screen. Once you reach the end of the screen, press the arrow if you would like to keep writing. Go back to the beginning by using a two finger swipe.

    handwrittenote2

  4. Alternatively, tap one of the pre-written options below, which include phrases like "thank you," "happy birthday," and "I'm sorry."
  5. When finished, tap "Done" to return to the standard keyboard. Your handwritten message will be available as an image to send in the message compose box.

    handwrittennote3

After you send your handwritten message to someone, it will display as a neat little animation that lets the person on the other end watch as you write each letter. Handwritten messages need to be viewed within the Messages app and notifications for them will simply read "Handwritten Message."

handwrittenmessagenotification
Message length is limited to two screens on the iPhone or iPad, so the handwriting feature is primarily designed for short phrases meant to complement longer text messages, but it's a simple addition that adds a sweet personal touch to your conversations. As a bonus, it can also be used to send little drawings, much like Digital Touch.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
54 months ago
For all the complaints about how all the messaging features have just bloated things, they've kinda dramatically changed how I communicate with people. It's more fun and engaging and man if we are going to restrict our communication to texting, we should be trying to make it as engaging as possible.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Good write-ups on the new features of messages, Juli. Thanks.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Excellent use of the 3.3 billion transistors in the A10 chip. Finger painting like a cave man. How far we've come.

(someone had to make the first snarky remark)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Fan of all of this since Apple Watch introduction and much earlier.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Don't care what anyone says, this is pretty fun. Actually loving iOS 10.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago

Is it possible to see the handwritten message if you're not on iOS 10?

Yes!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner

Saturday October 24, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly using the Measure app. You can even measure the seated height of a person in a chair, according to Apple. When the Measure app detects a person in the viewfinder, it automatically measures their...

Google Reportedly Pays Apple $8-12 Billion Per Year to be Default iOS Search Engine

Sunday October 25, 2020 2:59 pm PDT by
The United States Justice Department is targeting a lucrative deal between Apple and Google as part of one of the U.S. government's largest antitrust cases, reports The New York Times. On Tuesday, the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, claiming the Mountain View-based company used anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to ...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

PSA: Non-iPhone 12 Models Charge Super Slowly With MagSafe Charger

Friday October 23, 2020 4:11 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a new $39 MagSafe Charger that's meant to work with the magnets in the iPhone 12 Pro models to charge them up at a maximum of 15W. The MagSafe Charger is technically able to be used with older iPhones, but it's not a good idea because the charging with non-iPhone 12 devices is so slow. We did two tests with the iPhone XS Max, draining the...

MagSafe Charger Teardown Reveals Simple Design With Magnets and Charging Coil Encircling a Small Circuit Board

Friday October 23, 2020 7:50 am PDT by
iFixit has today shared a teardown of Apple's new MagSafe charger for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. An X-ray of the MagSafe charger courtesy of Creative Electron reveals the internal charging coil surrounded by a circular arrangement of magnets within the puck. The only seam that iFixit was able to leverage to open the device was where the white rubber circle meets the metal rim,...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

iFixit Shares Full iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Teardown Revealing Interchangeable Displays and Batteries

Saturday October 24, 2020 1:48 pm PDT by
After live streaming a teardown of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro earlier this week, iFixit today provided a more in-depth teardown that goes through all of the components in the new devices, revealing several similarities between the two. Early testing conducted by iFixit shows that the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro displays are interchangeable and can be swapped without issue, though the max...