Want a one word summary of Apple’s greatest innovation for iOS 10? Emoji, and we’re only half-joking.
The formerly sober, if efficient Messages app has been transformed into something that’s vibrant and fun. That means emoji display in a larger format than ever before, you can comment on messages with emoji and change individual words in a text to emoji with a couple of taps. Seriously, Apple has gone all in those yellow nuggets of joy making Messages a lot more akin to WhatsApp or Slack than its formerly straight-faced guise.
This philosophy extends to more complex stuff like replying to messages with a full screen effect (laser machines, balloons and bursts of confetti are all available) or hiding the content of a message with ‘Invisible Ink’ that you can swipe away. Granted, some of these new features are immensely twee but they go a long way towards making Messages a distinctive app with its own identity rather than something you use out of sheer obligation.
Apple’s also made some more practical tweaks to Messages that iPhone users will no doubt appreciate. You can get rich links to a website (a.k.a. the ones where that preview a web page’s headline and lead image), the ability to play videos within the app and send hand-written messages.
If you’re most excited about the emoji, then that’s OK. Apple is too.