iOS 8 Messages Features

Without a doubt, I believe that quick reply for Messages was by far the most wanted feature of iOS 8 for the majority of long-time users. It’s a feature that has been egregiously overlooked by Apple with seemingly little explanation.

This morning’s keynote address finally brought an end to the wait, as native quick reply was revealed in all its glory on stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. To be honest, the keynote seemed to teeter on the side of fan service, but I’m certainly not complaining, especially when a part of that fan service is the long-awaited quick reply.

After installing the beta of iOS 8, one of the first things I’ve begun to play around with is the stock Message app, and of course, perhaps the most anticipated feature in iOS 8: quick reply. Have a look at our video walkthrough of some of the most prominent iOS 8 Messages app features.

When I think about iOS 8 and the Messages app in general, I think polish. iOS 7 was the cornerstone of a new direction, and iOS 8 is the first time we’ve been able to see Apple’s creative juices really go to work in the post-Forstall era. As such, we’re seeing a ton of brand new features that I’m sure the iOS engineers have been dying to show off for the longest time. Now that time is finally here.

Quick Reply

Quick reply works pretty much as one would expect it to. If you’ve ever used Auki—the jailbreak tweak by Surenix and Benno, then you definitely know what to expect.

Quick Reply iOS 8

To use quick reply in iOS 8, simply slide down on an incoming banner notification. The background will blur, the interface will darken a bit, and you can send a new message reply or compose a new voice reply without having to open the full-fledged Messages app. Quick replies can also be sent from the Lock screen by means of a swipe gesture on the message notification.

Sending recent photos or videos

IOS 8 messages recent

Apple has finally figured out that its users want to interact with the photos that have recently been snapped. Now we have the ability, at least within iOS 8’s Messages app at least, to quickly insert recent photos and videos. Along with that, you can insert multiple photos or videos simultaneously.

Location sharing

iOS 8 Messages Location Sharing

Apple’s Find My Friends app just went on life support as soon as Apple unveiled the new location sharing features in the stock iOS 8 Messages app. The location features allow you to send a one time message containing your current location, or you can establish location sharing for an hour, entire day, or indefinitely.

Quick photos, videos and voice

iOS 8 Messages quick voice

iOS 8 now includes two buttons that allow you to quickly compose and send video clips, photos, or sound bytes with a one-handed action. These new features are there to promote richer multimedia sharing via iMessage, and they do enrich the experience. More importantly, all of functions can be done with one hand, which promotes a certain ease of use and simplicity.

iOS 8 Messages quick photo video

Taking control of group messaging

iOS 8 Messages Groups

The final area that I want to talk about in this post is group message management. You can now rename group message conversations, mute conversations, and remove yourself from conversations you’ve been invited to. Whereas with iOS 6 and iOS 7, group messages were intrusive and annoying due to the lack of end user control, iOS 8 puts the control back into the users hands.

Obviously there are many more changes to be found within the iOS 8 Messages app and various other apps throughout the operating system. You can expect a lot of iterative changes to happen over the lifespan of the iOS 8 beta. We’ll continue to update you on new changes, and eventually, we’ll provide you with a thorough and authoritative walkthrough, which will address the changes that have happened in iOS 8.

Stay tuned for more iOS 8 overviews of , and let us know what you think down below in the comments.

  • ✯Mike✯

    I think Apple could’ve done a lot better with the quick reply. Oh well. Better then nothing.

    • diggitydang

      I’m grateful for it, but agree. That said, we should wait for the final release to judge. Oh, and I’m curious how multiple messages coming in at a time will be handled. Often times, people send several texts back-to-back and as I’m quick replying, I wonder if the net one comes in and you can see those messages. In BiteSMS or Couria, you could see the whole conversation as you quick replied. I’m hoping there will be a feature to do the same here.

      Oh, and is it expecting too to wish that quick compose came with quick reply? Hahahaha!

      • Eric M

        Already happened to me. They show up right above the one your typing. Seamless and smooth. You can quickl reply to that too

      • diggitydang

        Awesome!!! Can’t wait for the fall!! Thanks for letting me know.

  • This post is exceptional. It flows really well. I wish I had your writing talent.

  • Evangeloz Tsalikidis

    There has been some improvements given to the Weather App.
    • 9 Day Forecast
    • Weather Information (underneath 9 day forecast)
    • Weather provided by The Weather Channel (not YAHOO).

  • Sai

    @JeffBenjam:disqus How do you record your screen like that? It looks really cool and i want to start my own youtube channel one day and be able to record the screen like that. can you please provide me with the information?

    • Siddharth Desai

      AirPlay Mirroring to possibly his Mac or a TV and records that display. Use a video editing application to format the video. Unless you’re jailbroken, then you can use Display Recorder by Ryan Petrich

      • Sai

        Whenever i tried dispaly recording on the ipad it never seemed to work. It always reverted the recording. i think im gonna prolly torrent or get the registered verification code for relfector.

  • Alberto Espinal

    Just two words “love it”

  • Guest

    There are also some changes to the Share Sheet.

  • Evangeloz Tsalikidis

    There are some improvements to the SHARE SHEET as well in iOS 8.

    • Eric M

      Now with extensions and interapp talking it’s an action sheet. Not share. You’re going to love it.

  • DarekSlaby

    What happens if you just tap the mic button instead of holding it?

    • disqus_TMmElvKDq6

      it just says “tap and hold to record and send audio”

  • DarekSlaby

    Is there any way to replay what you recorded before sending?

  • nolanbob99

    Can someone register this UDID to a dev account so I can restore my phone back to IOS 7? Please im stuck at an activation error. I can’t use my phone at all so im desperate. Thanks.


    • Jackson Grong

      Dude, you can restore it without having your udid registered!
      1. Put your device in DFU mode(google it)
      2. Click restore on Windows/Mac.
      3. Let iTunes download and install iOS 7.1.1

      • nolanbob99

        You are amazing thank you

  • ohdowload

    anyone need help regarding activating udid? if you want to activate your udid and install iOS 8 you can shoot me at my email

  • Matt Dowdy

    I’m hoping to see “hey siri” in action, can you do a video of that please or is that feature not yet active?

  • Barcelonian

    IOS 8.1 quick reply for third party apps. That would be amazing!!

    • Nabil El Hajjouti

      It will when those apps update with iOS 8 compatibility. It already works with Facebook because it’s integrated in iOS. But basically all third party apps will want to update and include this (and other) iOS 8 functionalities.

  • Nabil El Hajjouti

    So, my big question that wasn’t answered during the WWDC : will we FINALLY be able to delete iMessage attachments ? It takes a HUGE amount of space. Any solutions (except deleting thread) ?

    • Ethan Humphrey

      They will automatically be deleted as long as you don’t press keep, and it was in WWDC

      • Nabil El Hajjouti

        Oh wow. Was wondering what the “keep” thing was. Must have missed when they said it. Thanks a lot.

    • Antonakis Kipouros Nikopolidis

      Not sure what you mean!!! If you meant something else, sorry. Only used it for photos…
      Double tap on the attachment- Press MORE – Attachment is now selected – Trash bin at bottom left.

    • Eric M

      You always could. Edit. Tap that line. Delete.

    • Eric M

      SorrY. In ios7 tap and hold that text. Select more. Then delete

      • Nabil El Hajjouti

        What I meant was: deleting those attachments at once. I don’t want to scroll back all the way up to find every image I sent/received, in every single conversation. I guess I’ll have to wait until iOS 8 is released publicly.

      • Eric M

        Well in the new details tab all your attachments are in one place and can be deleted quickly no scrolling necessary. I haven’t seen a way to delete them all yet. I

  • Elias Chao

    Off topic: I had never noticed that Jeff’s name initials are the same than, well, ‘Jailbreak’ (if you short the word as JB, of course).

  • Yujin

    i wonder when non-developers will be able to install iOS 8 like they usually do…

  • dorisnite .

    Off Topic: is this the Swiftkey keyboard you are using in this video? How could you make this your standard keyboard?

  • Jaksta

    Would this quick reply work with 3rd party apps such as Whatsapp and Wechat? or is it only for the stock messages app?

  • Eddie Hines

    How do i pull up the microphone to record a message in SMS?

  • Riley Freeman

    what about the texts aka green bubbles showing up on ipads? I have ios 8 on my ipad but havent put it on my iphone due to the risks of apps crashing and not working on ios 8 yet. do both devices have to be on ios 8 for this to work?

  • College

    Can someone please post the new share sheet from Safari please?

  • Brooke Kelly Flanagan

    I have the beta version and wow, I have really enjoyed the fact that the picture messages are so vivid now. I am not pinching the screen to see whats there and the fact that the IPhone 6 will be even larger than the 5S has a lot to do with the changes with the IOS 8 coming out. I do have trouble with the beta version and the bugs it has but, I am happy to play for now and get to use it and see what great things it has to offer for all Apple Fans!!