Apple is taking on Facebook and Google with a bunch of great new text message features

Apple just unveiled iOS 10 at its annual WWDC conference, detailing the next big update to the operating system found on the iPhone and iPad.

It’s a big, important move for Apple: With both Facebook and Google working hard at making their messaging and texting apps as fully-featured as possible, Apple is taking important steps to make sure that its homegrown iMessages app stays fresh and trendy.

With the iPhone update, coming this fall for free, comes a mess of new features for the trusty old Messages app, including a new feature called “Emojify.” Basically, if you type “basketball,” the keyboard will suggest replacing it with the basketball emoji.

Here’s Emojify in action:

“Children of tomorrow will have no understanding of the English language,” quipped Apple Senior VP Craig Federighi on stage at WWDC.

Other new Messages features include “bubble effects,” which let you customise your messages with text that’s bigger or smaller, or messages that land with a “slam” effect.

Another new feature is “invisible ink,” the ability to send text messages and photos that are only revealed when you swipe your finger over them.

In this picture, you can see two neat new features: You’ll also be able to sketch simple pictures with your finger with “digital touch,” which turns the keyboard area into a little sketchpad. And you’ll be able to share music with your friends, straight in an iMessage.

You can sketch with your finger, or modify a photo:

Last, but not least, iMessage is getting apps, which let you add additional features and functions to the classic app. It’s a lot like how Facebook Messenger has also opened up to developers, opening the door to lots of integrations like Uber and Lyft.


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