How to use all the new messages features in iOS 10

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Instant messaging is a very competitive space. With the rise of WhatsApp, its acquisition by Facebook, increasing demands for security and encryption, and previous powerhouses like MSN Messenger and ICQ disappearing into obscurity, Apple’s answer is iMessage.

The platform is built into every iOS and Mac device, features secure end-to-end encryption, and was a bit of a revolution in free messaging when it arrived on the scene in iOS 5. With the arrival of iOS 10, Messages got the biggest single update since its introduction.

With new features, animations, the ability to send drawings, and a whole message-focused App Store tacked on, there’s plenty to get excited about.

iOS 10 includes several new options to give your messages more impact, starting with animated text bubbles. When you send a regular message you can now choose to provide added emphasis that the recipient will see when they finally get round to reading it. You can also send a full screen animation to accompany your message, which is handy if you’re celebrating a birthday or eager to share some news.

To activate these new features, simply type your message as you normally would, then Force Touch the “up arrow” send button. If you have an older device, you can tap and hold the button instead. This will bring up a screen with two tabs: Bubble and Screen. The full list of Bubble animations is as follows:

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