Use message effects with iMessage on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Make your iMessages even more expressive with bubble effects, full-screen animations, camera effects, and more.

You need iMessage to send message effects. If you aren't sure whether you're using iMessage or SMS/MMS texts, learn the difference. Depending on your carrier, messaging rates might apply when you send SMS/MMS. If you use iMessage and Wi-Fi is unavailable, cellular data rates might apply.

Send a message with effects

With message effects, you can use bubble effects to change the way your message bubbles look. You can also use full-screen effects to animate the screen when you send a message.

bubble effects

Add a bubble effect

You can use bubble effects to animate your message bubbles with different expressions. To send a message with a bubble effect, follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and tap compose message button to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
  2. Enter your message or insert a photo, then touch and hold send message button.
  3. Tap preview message bubble to preview bubble effects.
  4. Tap send message button to send.

To replay a message effect that you receive, tap replay message effect button under the message. If you can't receive bubble effects, check your Reduce Motion settings.

full-screen effects

Add a full-screen effect

With full-screen effects, you can animate your screen with an echo, spotlight, and other effects. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and tap compose message button to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
  2. Enter your message. 
  3. Touch and hold send message button, then tap Screen.
  4. Swipe to the left to see full-screen effects.
  5. Tap send message button to send.

To replay a message effect that you receive, tap the replay message effect under the message. If you can't receive full-screen effects, check your Reduce Motion settings.

camera effects

Send a message with Camera Effects

With Camera Effects in iOS 12, you can liven up your conversations even more. Quickly create and share a photo or video with Animoji, Memoji, filters, text, fun stickers, and more. Follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and tap write message to create a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
  2. Tap camera icon.
  3. Tap effects icon, then select Animoji* Animoji icon , Filters filters icon, Text text icon, Shapes shapes icon, or an iMessage app. You can add more than one effect to a photo or video.
  4. After you select the effect that you want to use, tap X icon in bottom-right corner, then tap camera icon.
  5. Tap send message icon to send or tap Done to add a personal message before you send your photo. If you don't want to send the photo, tap x icon in the upper-right corner of the photo.

* You need an iPhone X or later to use Animoji and Memoji.

tapback expressions

Respond to a message with expressions

With Tapback, you can quickly reply to messages with expressions, like a thumbs up or a heart. To reply to a message with a Tapback, follow these steps:

  1. Open a conversation in Messages.
  2. Double-tap the message bubble or photo that you want to respond to.
  3. Select the Tapback that you want to send.

You can also use Tapback in group messages. To see who replied with a Tapback, tap it.

handwritten notes

Send a handwritten message

You can personalize your messages by adding a note in your own handwriting. Your friends and family will see the message animate, as if it were being written in front of them. To send a handwritten note, follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages and tap write message to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
  2. If you have an iPhone, turn it sideways. If you have an iPad, tap sideways icon on the keyboard.
  3. Write your message or select one of the options at the bottom of the screen.
  4. If you need to start over, tap Undo or Clear. When you're finished, tap Done. Then tap send message to send.

Do more with Messages

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