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

With iOS 10, you can make your iMessages more expressive. Add effects to your message bubbles, send animations that take over the entire screen, add a personal touch with a handwritten note, 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.
  2. Tap write message and enter a contact or go to an existing conversation.
  3. Enter your message or insert a photo, then touch and hold send message.
  4. Tap  to preview bubble effects.
  5. Tap send message to send.

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

Add a full-screen effect

With full-screen effects, you can animate your screen with balloons, confetti, and more. To send a full-screen effect, follow these steps:

  1. Open Messages.
  2. Tap write message and enter a contact or go to an existing conversation. 
  3. Enter your message. 
  4. Touch and hold send message, then tap Screen.
  5. Swipe to the left to see full-screen effects, like balloons, confetti, and fireworks.
  6. Tap send message to send.

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

     

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. You need iOS 10 to send and receive Tapback messages.

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.
  2. Tap write message and enter a contact or go to an existing conversation.
  3. If you have an iPhone, turn it sideways. If you have an iPad, tap  on the keyboard.
  4. Write your message or select one of the options at the bottom of the screen.
  5. If you need to start over, tap Undo. If not, tap Done. Then tap send message to send.

You need iOS 10 to send and receive an animated handwritten message. If you have iOS 9 or earlier, you'll receive a still image.

Learn more

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