With iOS 17, Apple brought some headline features to iPhones, like StandBy Mode and NameDrop, but Apple also introduced some smaller quality-of-life improvements that are well worth familiarizing yourself with. Inline replies in the Messages app is one of them.

iMessage Swipe to Reply
If you use WhatsApp, you're probably aware of the quick reply feature that the platform has had for several years. To reply to an individual message, you simply swipe to the right. It's a handy little trick that users often employ when involved in fast-moving conversations. It's also useful in busy group chats to make it clear which person in the group you're replying to.

Before iOS 17, replying to a specific chat bubble in the Messages app involved long pressing on it, then hitting reply. The experience wasn't as smooth as WhatsApp, but Apple's new swipe to reply feature fixes all that, and arguably improves upon it with some helpful visual cues. Here's how to use it on iPhones running iOS 17 and later.

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone and select an iMessage conversation.
  2. Find the specific message you want to reply to and swipe right on it.
  3. The selected message will be highlighted and a text box will appear, allowing you to type your reply. (You can also use the + button to access additional options like stickers, photos, and more.)
  4. Once you've composed your message, tap the Send button.
  5. To return to the main conversation, tap the blurred background.

messages

Notice the visual thread that indicates the nested connection between your reply and the original message, which is particularly helpful in group conversations to keep track of who is replying to whom.

Remember that everyone in a group conversation can read your inline replies. If you don't want this, start a new conversation with the person you want to reply to. It's also worth noting that swipe to reply only works on iMessages and not for regular SMS texts.

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

New Macs and iPads Coming Soon: What to Expect

Saturday February 17, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's Vision Pro headset, attention has shifted towards what is next on the company's agenda this year. As usual, March should be eventful for Apple, as it is expected to release new MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Air models during the month. In a recent press release, Apple also confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March. Below, we recap what to expect...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....
Apple Watch Series 9

5 Major New Features Rumored for This Year's Apple Watch

Sunday February 18, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Thinking about upgrading your Apple Watch or buying one for the first time? If your current smartwatch is doing its job just fine and it's only the idea of a good deal that's piqued your interest, it could be worth holding out until later this year when Apple unveils its next-generation version. Here's why. There are already several rumors from reputable sources that suggest 2024 could be a...