Messages app gets timestamps, contact photos, and other UI enhancements in iOS 7 beta 2

By , Jun 24, 2013

Photos in Group Messages iOS 7

Earlier today, Apple released the second beta of its next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 7, to developers. The update comes exactly two weeks after the original beta of iOS 7 was released, and brings with it a number of new features and improvements.

Thus far we’ve covered the revamped Voice Memos app and new Siri voices, and now we’re going to talk about the different changes in the stock Messages app. Apple has added contact photos to group conversation threads and a few other UI enhancements…

Easily the most noticeable change to the Messages app in beta 2 are the presence of contact photos in group conversations. Similar to how jailbreak tweaks like Copic add contact photos to messaging threads, the Messages app now shows images from your contact cards in conversation.

Here’s Jeff with a hands-on look at the beta 2 changes in Messages:

Unfortunately, it appears that this is only the case when in group conversations. So you have to be talking with multiple people to see the contact photos. I’d like to see the photos everywhere in Messages, including the main window that shows all of your convos.

Other changes in the app include what looks like thicker text on the Send button — in beta one, the font was very thin — as well as enhanced ‘send’ animations. And also, there are now timestamps for each message. Simply swipe to the right on a Message to reveal.

timestamps

Of course, these are just a few of the changes in the Messages app for iOS 7. If you haven’t yet, make sure to check out our complete rundown of the revamped application. Otherwise, stay tuned to iDB today for more coverage on the new features/changes in beta 2.

How do you think the Messages app is coming along?

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Siddharth Desai

    The new Send message animation looks pretty cool with the new keyboard. Also, the timestamps are awesome too.

    • John

      Timestamps on each message: It’s about bloody time, LOL

      • truehybridx

        considering its had that for like years and they never showed it :/

      • John

        I know. The one jailbreak thing I used to download was the ability to see ALL timestamps.

        =D

    • Timothy

      Is anyone getting a “waiting for activation” notice for iMessages? My UDID is registered with Apple, and FaceTime seems to be working, but iMessages aren’t sending or syncing on my iPhone.

      • Bryan

        I’m actually receiving messages to my iPhone 4, but I can’t respond. It says iMessages needs to be activated..

      • Kevin Osborne

        This was a problem with iMessage, not iOS 7. A few of my friends were having issues as well.

  • Keith

    Feels a lot smoother as well.

  • Osama Muhammed

    i really dislike how theres a very little space between my multiple messages

    • Raul Henriquez

      what are you talking about

    • Craig Keller

      Its very cool how when you scroll the message thread, that the bubbles accelerate closer together with inertia. I hated the 1px spacing until i noticed that.

    • James

      Agreed.

  • Maze

    Lol I seen you guys use the iOS 6 iMessage icon for this blog! Nice save though

    • http://www.iDownloadBlog.com Sebastien

      Check again ;)

  • Frozen Bee .GFKS

    does anyone have a problem with transparency and blur on iPhone 4? for example mine control center is grey instead of blurry and transparent

    • Siddharth Desai

      Translucency is not available on the iPhone 4.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        and will be in final release?

      • David Villamizar

        I wouldn’t count on that…

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        well thats kind of strange, because now it looks like f**king bug!! they are doing this and cant even make it at least watchable? Screw you Apple >:( i hope they’ll at least make a super phone on fall so i can upgrade

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        at least dock,folders and multitasking is transparent now.. thanks God

        now just trasparent folder thumbnails and control center and its good

      • Kenny Goodin

        It’s because it would slow down your device. The iPhone 4 is showing its age; you’re lucky Apple’s supporting it at all.

      • David Villamizar

        Waiting as well, iPhone 4 is no longer properly supported, I’ve felt this way since the release of the 4s tho :(

      • Siddharth Desai

        I don’t think they’ve mentioned it yet. May be it’s not included due to performance issues.

      • Pod2g2

        hope they include it, if they don’t it would be not worthy to update an iPhone 4 to iOS 7 :( :(

        1-because it doesn’t include Translucency :/

        2-due to performance issues:@

      • Eric M

        Well they fixed it on the dock on iPhone 4. And control center is slightly more translucent. I can’t imagine parallax coming to the 4 but I think translucency will continue to improve. The dock is fantastic now. A little buggy with a wallpaper change but after a reboot its fine.

      • Pod2g2

        lets wish beta 3 will include parallax and tanslucent effect on iphone 4

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        even just translucent would be fine…

        parallax would be perfect, but i dont think so…iP4 is too slow

      • Pod2g2

        Hope So :P

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        you probably meant parallax right? translucency is essential of the whole system, they cant ignore it..it would ruin the whole design of OS – not Apple style

      • Maxim∑

        Weather conditions are not animated on iPhone 4
        Blurred layers are not available on iPhone 4.
        Parallax is not available on iPhone 4.
        Letterpress text is not available on iPhone 4.
        Dynamic wallpaper is not available on iPhone 4.

    • Luis Fernando Rocha

      I just tried Control Center on Messages, home screen, Phone, Notifications while in Lock Screen, on an iPhone 4, and there’s translucency there. Not as pronounced as on my iPhone 5, but it’s there.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        yeah, its transluscent, but yet far from what we can see on iPhone 5…

      • Luis Fernando Rocha

        True, but remember about hardware limitations. We’d probably see a huge drop in battery life if the 4 tried to do the same level of translucency as the 5 :)

  • James Cook

    if you swipe up and down in a thread, you can see a new bounce animation, the message bubbles will bounce off each other

    • David Villamizar

      That’s from the beta 1, what is new I think (not sure though) is the swipe left that shows every message date and time.

      • James Cook

        Oh, if thats the case, I never noticed it in beta 1, I do like the swipe to access timestamps though

  • Khan Rulzz

    I just love it !!!

  • Diego Gastón Milano

    Very nice. Did they by any chance enhanced how long the bubbles are now? I’m an eager text user and I personally find the way the bubbles are displayed in a way they wouldn’t use up properly the extra (width) space like it would in WhatsApp not efficient.
    I’m hoping this is more ‘dynamic’ or at least they used up more extra space in the screen instead of how it’s always worked in previous iOS versions.

  • Guest

    Nice. Thats why i dont see photos. And wow no namecheck on this!
    Imma let you finish.

  • Alicia Bankhofer

    I can’t get it iMessage to work – there’s always a problem with the activation – sigh!

    • John

      Imagine how many people are trying to reactivate their account at the moment…

      • Alicia Bankhofer

        it wasn’t working in the past weeks either.
        Putting it down to a but due to the fact that I’m in Austria *shrugsshoulders*

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        Settings>Mail,Contacts,BlaBla> Info about me(or My contact,or something like that-my phone is in czech, not in english) >Choose yourself from the contact list(make sure there’s youre number and mail)—-> reactivate iMessages= DONE

      • Alicia Bankhofer

        Thx tried several times. Also changing contacts didn’t work. Still get “error with activation” – also for facetime. Both still don’t work. Where can we feedback errors?

  • Dylan Roberts

    Now all they have to do is come up with something for quick reply like BiteSMS

    • Stephen Michael Simon

      That would be asking too much! we have to wait for iOS 8, 9 or 10 for Apple to get their heads out of their asses…

  • Eric M

    Wow this is a huge update. Fixed many many bugs and added so many new things inside each app. Calendar is still a mess though. No daily view. No way to look at a month and see if you have appointments on any day without opening that day.

    • ɑղժɾҽա

      They fixed many and added MANY more bugs. UI bugs to be specific.

    • Lance Baker

      This bothers me about the calendar. I miss the old one!!

    • Alicia Bankhofer

      I agree Calendar is a mess. Mine shows the wrong date by one day. Pretty annoying.

  • Liam Mulcahy

    im loving it

    • Falk M.

      Ronald McDonald, is that you?

  • JonB

    its intermittent but im noticing on the lock screen the time in the middle of the screen. sometimes its still on the top though. anyone else seeing this?

    • Kenny Goodin

      I’ve noticed this as well. Not sure what it is, but I’ll assume it’s a part of some feature that isn’t being fully utilized yet.

      • Anthony Petell

        or a bug. I like it in the middle personally.

  • ImLouis

    I would like to see the each message span the width of the screen more, i mean there already in different colors cos it will just be more efficient with space!

    • Frozen Bee .GFKS

      that would be mess

  • mehrab

    1 thing idb missed Ios 7 beta 2 has a reinvented video player much more different then beta 1″s video playerOkay i”ll tell you about ios 7 beta 2 running on an iphine 4s much moooree smooothhhheerrrr and faassstteerr amazing battery life fast multitasking even with that low 512 ram cleaner smootger ui animations. Faster smoother then ios 6 fo sure idk what they did with thenicibs but they look better kinda smaller idk really but they look nicer then beta 1

    • rosssimpson

      How can you comment on battery life? you haven’t even had it 24 hours yet.

      • mehrab

        I used it for almost 4 hours plus and on 75% iphone 4s

  • Kurt

    I like the send animation, the thin line at top. Reminds me of Browser on Android. I really like the white background and the contacts photos being circles.It was one of the UI elements i really liked from MeeGo. Glad to see it being implemented here in iOS. Great touch. Really glad to see timestamps. This is a welcome update. Good job Apple

  • Gorgonphone

    Am getting more worried :(

    • himynameisBLiNK

      lol

  • Casey H.

    I don’t have individual time stamps on messages.

    • Farisyafiq

      Same here :(

      • Casey H.

        Just figured it out. Pull the message bubbles away from the right and it will show the time stamps. Pretty cool.

      • Timothy

        Keeps the app looking clean, and keeps them out of the way if you don’t need them. Great way to implement them, in my opinion.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        and all you had to do was read the post…

  • Jonathan Foell ™

    Is quick reply enabled now? That’s ALL that matters.

    • himynameisBLiNK

      is there supposed to be a QR? if so, surely it’d be out by now so all the bugs can be worked out
      don’t get your hopes up

    • Zachary Sloane

      seriously. I will NOT need to jailbreak if they release this last feature. everything i jailbreak for has been included in iOS 7 except the Quick Reply. But I can’t use an iPhone without it….it’s annoying.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        dont think so mates….QR and QC would be amazing huge feature…thing like this would be mentioned during the keynote… final release of iOS 7 will be pretty close to what we saw during presentation

  • Kenny Woodard

    Has anyone put this on an iphone 4? Is it alot better than the first beta? It was pathetic on beta 1.

    • himynameisBLiNK

      define “pathetic” – your version.

      • Kenny Woodard

        Extremely laggy and buggy, worse than on other devices. The keyboard wouldn’t switch from numbers to letters and vice versa sometimes. Safari would freeze. My device crashed twice. Oh and the dock was an ugly gray color. ( I know it was a beta, but it was unusable for me on a primary device )

      • Timothy

        If you thought it was pathetic, just stick with iOS 6 until 7 is released to the public. If you don’t need it for development purposes, and if you don’t like bugs, then don’t go with beta software, simple as that.

        However, to answer your question, it’s definitely much less buggy and much more smooth, in my experience thus far.

      • Kenny Woodard

        Beta 2 runs great on my Ipad Mini, so I was just wondering because I prefer 7 over 6.

      • Frozen Bee .GFKS

        lol, fist of all its beta, second of all iPhone 4 is almost 3 years old device, so dont expect miracles….Beta 2 is less laggy, bit faster, yet no crashes(i updated few hours ago)…dock is fixed(transparent now),folders are transparent too…control center is still grey tho…so conclusion is: its just a bit better, some nice visual fixs and updates aaaand definetely worth updating if you are already on beta 1.(if you already have beta 1 you have to update anyway, because beta 1 will expire this week and your device would be unusable)

  • Smeltn

    Ok notifications are not showing up on my lock screen since updating. Anyone else have this problem?

  • Stephen Michael Simon

    Looks like Apple is still refusing to add a QuickReply feature? I’ll stay on iOS 6 then!

  • Brett Griffin

    Still no Quick Reply…… Surely that isn’t asking to much.

  • Chance Monnette

    I’m not the biggest fan of the new animation and I wish you could turn off the nicknames thing. Other than that the beta is awesome.

    • JoshuaHulgan

      You can in settings under mail, contacts, calendars.

  • Bj Bennett

    I just hope they add quick reply before the fall release

  • Prasoon Singh

    I hate Messages in Beta 2. You have less space to view the conversation when typing because of that annoying useless To: bar at the top. I also think that the contact photos are useless in Messages.

  • Prasoon Singh

    I wish more Apple stock apps have the dark layout like the FaceTime app has. It looks really cool with the black background and the blue fonts.

  • Chris Tangler

    how did you activate “show all timestamps”? i just updated and cant find the setting in the settings app

    thanks

    EDIT: duh?!? I guess i didnt read good enough…disregard comment

  • Brett Griffin

    Still no Quick Reply……. Surely this is simple enough for Apple to implement being they have it in OSX

  • Prashant goel

    What about the battery life? Cause it sucked in Beta 1.

  • Jamie Waters

    Thanks Jeff… what software do you use to record your videos please? I’ve asked a few times and never had a reply – if you could take 30 seconds and let me know that would be great, thanks! :)

  • Razick Rilshad

    Cool

  • Sandeep Roy

    Don’t understand wasting real estate with photos, wouldn’t i know who i’m texting ? I would much rather see timestamps below the text than, on the side. But that’s me :)

  • jody madden

    I am having an issue with my contact photos when someone calls me the photo is a blurry screen now? I need help please I have the iPhone 5