3 simple ways to get more out of iMessage

Black iPhone 4 on white surface

If you have ever used the Messages app on an Apple device, the chances are that you have also sent an iMessage from time to time.

The term ‘iMessage’ refers to the blue message bubbles that you might send to another iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac, using mobile data networks or Wi-Fi. This is as opposed to the more ‘traditional’ SMS messages that will show up in Messages in the form of a green bubble on your Apple device, and will be marked as a ‘Text Message’.

iMessage, then, is a perk very much exclusively for Apple users, making it possible for the owners of devices from the Cupertino company to communicate with each other more easily. But we bet you didn’t know about all the finer touches that help to make the iMessage feature so special.

Let’s take a look, then, at a few of the great iMessage ‘hacks’ you might want to try.

Play two-player games with GamePigeon

If you’re an iPhone user who detests iMessage, we’re about to give you a reason to be at least slightly fonder of it; GamePigeon!

GamePigeon is effectively an extension of iMessage, enabling you to play two-player games with someone you’re messaging. You can take advantage of it by downloading it from the App Store, opening a conversation with someone in the Messages app on your device, and then tapping the GamePigeon logo in the iMessage app drawer above the keyboard.

You will then be able to take your pick from various casual games – such as 8-Ball, Darts or Tanks – and then get playing. That’s as long as your recipient also wishes to join in and has GamePigeon installed on their own device, of course.

Conduct iMessage polls to settle debates

We all know the easiest way to settle a group chat debate is via a poll, but do you know how to do it in iMessage?

Simply tap the App Store icon in the iMessage app drawer and fire up the store itself, before hitting the tiny magnifying glass. Then, download a third-party app called Polls for iMessage. The app will then be added to your app drawer, and you will be able to settle your disagreements with friends.

Congratulate your friends with a flourish

Did you know that if you send the word “congratulations” as an iMessage, a confetti effect will be created on both your screen and that of your friend’s device?

In fact, there are hundreds of code words and phrases across 40 different languages that – if they are used in an iMessage – trigger a full-screen animated effect. Those include “Happy Eid”, which produces a shooting star, and “pew pew”, which – of course – triggers lasers.

There you go – just three fairly straightforward things you might try when you are next using the iMessage function on your Apple device. As with seemingly everything else Apple, the iMessage feature shows impressive attention to detail from the Cupertino company that can be so easily missed.

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