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Here’s Everything New in the Messages App on iOS 18

iOS 18 adds many new features to the Messages app, including the ability to schedule messages to be sent later, the ability to use any emoji or sticker as a Tapback, text formatting options like bold and italics, and much more.

iOS 18 is currently available in beta for members of the Apple Developer Program, with a public beta to follow in July. The software update should be widely released in September, and it is compatible with the iPhone XS and newer.

Below, we outline everything new in the Messages app on iOS 18, including some smaller changes that Apple’s website does not mention.

Schedule Messages

iMessages can now be scheduled to be sent at a later date and time in both individual and group conversations. As of the first iOS 18 beta, you can schedule a message to be sent up to 14 days later. After scheduling a message, it becomes visible to you in a dotted-line bubble, with edit, delete, and reschedule options.

iMessage Send Later iOS 18iMessage Send Later iOS 18
To access this feature, tap the plus sign to the left of the text field, tap More, and tap Send Later.

Tapback Changes

Redesigned Tapbacks

The classic set of Tapback icons are now colorful, including the heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, HA HA, exclamation marks, and question mark.

iMessage iOS 18 2iMessage iOS 18 2

Emoji Tapbacks

You can now use any emoji or sticker as a Tapback.

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iMessage iOS 18 4iMessage iOS 18 4

Improved Visibility

It is now easier to view multiple Tapback reactions on a single message.

Text Formatting and Effects

Bold, italics, underline, and strikeout formatting is finally available for iMessages. In addition, there are all-new text effects that can animate words within an iMessage, including Big, Small, Shake, Nod, Explode, Ripple, Bloom, and Jitter.

iMessage iOS 18 1iMessage iOS 18 1iOS 18 Text Effects iMessageiOS 18 Text Effects iMessage

Messages via Satellite U.S. Only

iOS 18 allows you to send and receive both iMessages and SMS messages via a satellite connection, even if there is no emergency.

iOS 18 Messages via SatelliteiOS 18 Messages via Satellite
This feature will work with messages, emoji, and Tapbacks, and all iMessages sent over satellite are secured with end-to-end encryption.

Messages via satellite is available on all iPhone 14 models and newer in the U.S. only at launch.

Hands-on demo videos show the feature in action.

RCS Support Later This Year

Apple’s website says that iOS 18 will support RCS (Rich Communication Services) in the Messages app. While this feature is not enabled in the first iOS 18 beta, Apple said it will be rolled out later this year, likely by time iOS 18 is widely released.

iOS 18 WWDC SlideiOS 18 WWDC SlideWWDC keynote slide confirming RCS support on iOS 18

RCS support will result in the following improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices:

  • Higher-resolution photos and videos
  • Audio messages
  • Typing indicators
  • Read receipts
  • Wi-Fi messaging
  • Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users

SMS continues to be supported as well.

When you send a message with only a single emoji, it now appears even larger than before.

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iMessage iOS 18 Link CardsiMessage iOS 18 Link Cards
Link cards are now more colorful, with the background better matching the linked content.

For some links, you can now choose between full-size and compact link cards, and there is an option to send a link as plain text instead.

Other Changes

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lisa nichols

My lisa Nichols is an accomplished article writer with a flair for crafting engaging and informative content. With a deep curiosity for various subjects and a dedication to thorough research, lisa Nichols brings a unique blend of creativity and accuracy to every piece

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