Messages in iOS 10: How to Install and Use Sticker Packs

by

In iOS 10, the simple Messages app you're familiar with has transformed from a bare bones texting platform into a fun, interactive communication service that takes advantage of games, apps, drawings, stickers, message effects, and more.

Following in the footsteps of apps like Facebook and Line, Apple is delving into stickers in a big way, giving iOS users new ways of expressing themselves. Like the real thing, Stickers in iOS can be stuck onto messages or images, or sent by themselves, and they can be resized, rotated, and stuck to other stickers for fun layering effects.


Installing Sticker Packs

Sticker packs can be installed as standalone applications through the iMessage App Store or they can be downloaded as add-ons to full iOS apps, but either way, getting them onto your device uses these steps.

openingmessagesappstore

  1. Open an existing conversation thread in Messages or start a new conversation.
  2. Tap on the App Store icon next to the conversation box and then tap on the four dots to open your app drawer, which houses all installed apps.
  3. Tap the "+" icon to access the iMessage App Store.
  4. In the "Featured" section, tap "Get" or and then "Install" to download a sticker pack, or tap on the purchase price to buy an pack that costs money. Passwords and Touch ID authentication are required, just as in the standard App Store.
  5. Tap on the "Manage" tab to install sticker packs (or other apps) that are available as iOS add-ons. Installation is done by setting the toggle to on (green), while removing an a sticker pack is done by turning the toggle off.

    messagesappstorestickers

  6. OPTIONAL: In the "Manage" tab, toggle on "Automatically Add Apps" to let all iOS apps that have an iMessage component install in Messages automatically.
  7. Click "Done." The newly installed sticker pack is now available in your app drawer. Access it by opening the app drawer (four dots icon) or swiping left or right through your installed apps.

Sticker Basics

Stickers are displayed in place of the iOS keyboard, just like emoji. Sending a sticker to someone is as simple as tapping it, which puts it in the message field. From there, tap the up arrow to send a sticker. It's simple, and essentially the same process as sending a standard text message or an emoji.

sendingstickers

Layering, Resizing, and Rotating Stickers

The neat thing about stickers is that they can be layered over incoming text messages, photos, GIFs, or other stickers, so you can use them to react to content your friends send you.

layeredstickers
Stickers must be placed on an incoming chat bubble of some sort and can't be placed randomly in the messages field, and stickers can only be added to other stickers after the first sticker has been sent, so it's not possible to layer multiple stickers together when composing a message.

To layer:

  1. Navigate to the sticker pack you want to use.
  2. Select a sticker. Instead of tapping it, place a finger on the sticker and drag it up to the messages window.
  3. Drag the sticker to where you want to place it on a message bubble, photo, or existing sticker.

You can put as many stickers as you like on a photo or an existing sticker, so you and your friends can take turns embellishing photos and creating sticker collages. Stickers from different sticker packs can be mixed together in one field — just swipe between packs to change stickers.

Stickers can be resized or rotated before they're placed, a feature that's especially useful when you want to accent a photo. To make stickers bigger or smaller, as you drag them up to the messages field to place them somewhere, add another finger to the screen and use pinch gesture to expand or contract them.

rotatedandresizedstickers
Rotating stickers is done in the same way. As you hold a sticker above the screen before placing it, use two fingers to twist it around, changing its orientation. Make sure not to let go when rotating or resizing, as removing your finger releases the sticker and it can no longer be edited.

Managing and Deleting Stickers

There are several gestures that can be used to manage your stickers. A single tap will display a sticker full screen, as will a 3D Touch press on the iPhone 6s and later.

deletingstickers
Use a long press on a sticker to bring up your message reaction menu and a set of management options. This menu displays where a sticker is from so you can download the sticker pack from the iMessage App Store if it's not already installed, and it has tools for deleting layered stickers. To delete:

  1. Long press on a layered sticker or a sticker that's been placed on an incoming message or photo.
  2. Choose the "Sticker Detail" option. All stickers that have been placed on a particular photo, message, or initial sticker will be displayed.
  3. On the sticker you want to delete, swipe to the left and choose then tap the "Delete" button.
  4. The sticker is removed from your device and from the device of the person you were communicating with and you're now free to add additional stickers.

Sticker Compatibility

Stickers are only going to display appropriately on devices running iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, so sending stickers to friends who are using Android devices or older versions of iOS won't work quite the same. On these devices, stickers are simply displayed as an image or GIF might be displayed and all layering is ignored.

Sticker packs can be created using Xcode with no coding experience required, so not only are developers going to be coming out with sticker packs, but artists can make them too. Expect to see hundreds of available sticker packs in the near future in addition to the built-in Hearts, Smileys, Hands, and Classic Mac stickers made available by Apple.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
53 months ago
How do I remove all this garbage?

I'm fine with receiving it, but I want to send text messages and pictures and nothing else. How do I remove the apps button, the drawing button, and the voice button?

I don't think I'm at all alone in this. My wife, who uses Snapchat, doesn't want all this crap in her messaging app. If someone using snapchat doesn't want it, I can't imagine who does.

I feel like Apple risks losing a lot of people who will shift over to Skype or WeChat or something, just so they can have a simpler messaging experience.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Is there a way to hide this stuff? I think it's laughable that the text bar is only like 0.4" now
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

Already there are complaints complaints complaints :rolleyes:

Because not everyone likes it and there appears to be no easy way to hide it. It's too in your face.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

iOS 9.3.5 (still installable - for a short time)

Does the text bar stay that short after you start typing?

No, the text bar expands as soon as you start typing. It's just a matter of getting used to seeing something different when you enter into a new text. You can also swipe left at the edge of the bar to hide camera/art/sticker options if it is distracting. I believe you have to do that with each new text though. Hope that helps.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago
Already there are complaints complaints complaints :rolleyes:
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
53 months ago

Is there a way to hide this stuff? I think it's laughable that the text bar is only like 0.4" now

I want to know too. Less is more for me, this change is kind of whacky and un-Apple like.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....