SMS is expensive, old school, and text based. If it weren’t for the carriers, SMS would have been outdated a long time ago. This is one of the few instances where the US is behind the rest of the world. Countries in Europe and Asia have already embraced IM chat clients like WhatsApp and Line as their savior.
But if you live in the US and if a majority of your acquaintances carry iPhones/iPads, iMessage is a great alternative. iOS 8 has added some pretty awesome features. Let’s take a look at how we can easily share photos, videos, voice messages, and location using the new app.
Share Voice Notes With iMessage
When you’re chatting with someone who has an iOS device and has iMessage enabled, you’ll see a mic icon next to the text field. Tap and hold the icon and the phone will start recording. Once you’re done, slide up to send it or slide left to delete the recording.
If the receiving party is using iOS 8, the voice note will show up inline with the message and they can press the play button or lift the phone to their ear to listen to it. If they are not on iOS 8, they will receive an audio file that they’ll have to first download and then play in an app. You can use the voice note features from the quick reply notification window as well.
Hot tip: Sending voice notes is great. It’s almost a modern equivalent of walkie-talkies. But when you’re in a crowded room, you really don’t want to listen to your potentially personal audio note on speaker. To get around this, iOS 8 has a Raise to listen feature. To enable this, go to Settings -> Messages and under the Audio Messages section make sure Raise to listen is turned on.
Quickly Share Multiple Images
The iOS 8 Messages app is really stepping up the sharing game and it’s the same with photo sharing. Before, you had to navigate different menus to get to photo sharing. Now just tap the Camera button on the left side of the text field and the thumbnails of all your most recent photos will show up.
Tap on any of them to select. You can select multiple images as well. Once done use the add comment option or just the send button to send the pictures.
Just like the mic button, if you long press the camera icon it will load up the camera right there. You can swipe up to take a picture and send it immediately. And I mean immediately. There’s no confirmation, no undo – so use this wisely. Swipe right to record a video.