Top 9 iMessage Tricks Like Pew Pew to Add Special Effects on iPhone

I accidentally discovered that sending Congratulations in iMessage triggers an animated effect. I know I’m late to the party, but better to be late than never. If you have just got a new iPhone and received an animated message such as Pew Pew or you also discovered it recently and are now wondering what words trigger iMessage effects on iPhone, we will help you in this post.

imessage special effects like pew pew

The iPhone keyboard tricks like Pew Pew in iMessage work on iPhone and iPad both. Such iMessage tricks add a twist and creative touch to your messages. If you have used Facebook Messenger, similar special effects work on that as well. Let’s get started and learn other cool things that you can do in iMessage like Pew Pew.

Note: The special effects mentioned below work only for iMessages between Apple devices and not for regular SMS messages. Also, the special effects work on devices running iOS 10 and above.

1. Add iMessage Effects Like Pew Pew by Sending Keywords

Just like Pew Pew iMessage effect, you can trigger more iPhone text effects that will fill up the entire screen by sending some keywords.

Follow these steps to send fun iPhone texts like Pew Pew:

Step 1: Launch Messages app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Open the contact to whom you want to send iPhone message effects like Pew Pew.

Step 3: Write Pew Pew or any of the following special effects keywords in the message box and hit the Send button. Your entire screen will fill up with the animation. And the same thing will happen on the receiver’s end when they open the message.

iMessage Pew pew effect

If you have been wondering about the Pew Pew meaning, basically it triggers an animated laser light show on the screen. Furthermore, you will be delighted to hear the sound effects as well if you have the volume up.

iMessage Effects Words List

Happy Birthday: Triggers animated balloons.

Congrats: Shows confetti from the top of the screen.

iMessage Keyword Birthday congrats

Happy New Year: Triggers fireworks.

Happy Chinese New Year: Red explosion or celebration effect.

iMessage pew pew like new year

Note: Send the above keywords alone. That is, do not add more text with the keywords, otherwise; the special effects won’t work.

Interestingly, the keywords aren’t limited to the ones mentioned above. Words with similar meanings in the English language or a different language will also trigger animations. For instance, sending Best wishes text will show animated confetti. You can check the compiled list of words that generate special effects.

Pro Tip: Check out how to use iMessage when it shows Signed out error.

2. Send Full Screen iMessage Effects Like Pew Pew for any Messsage

In the above method, you need to send particular keywords to generate an animated effect. What if you want to trigger a special effect for some particular message? For instance, you want to say ‘Happy Birthday, Mehvish’ with a cool animated full-screen effect. Fortunately, that is also possible in iMessage.

To do so, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the message thread in iMessage.

Step 2: Type your message in the typing box of iMessage.

Step 3: The Send button will appear on the right side of the typing box. Hold the Send button, and a new screen will show up. Tap on the Screen tab at the top.

iMessage Screen Effect

Step 4: You will be shown the preview of the first iMessage effect i.e., Echo. Swipe left to preview other special effects that are mentioned below:

iPhone Message Effects Like Pew Pew List

Echo: Sends numerous copies of the message in an animated manner which will zoom around the screen for a couple of seconds.

Spotlight: Puts spotlight on the message and the other area appears dark.

iMessage screen effect bubble

Ballons: Shows animated balloons from the bottom of the screen. It’s the same effect that happens if you send Happy birthday keyword.

Confetti: Triggers confetti from the top of the screen. It’s similar to the Congrats keyword.

iMessage Screen Effect ballons

Love: A big animated heart pops out of the message.

Lasers: Laser beam is shown generating from the message. It’s same as Pew Pew keyword.

iMessage Screen Effect laser

Fireworks: Shows animated fireworks just like for the Happy new year keyword.

Celebration: Triggers celebration effect, similar to Happy Chinese new year keyword.

iMessage Screen Effect celebrate

Step 5: Tap on the Send button next to your message to send your message with the selected animation. In case you don’t want to add a special effect, tap on the Cross icon below the Send button.

iMessage Screen Effect Send

Tip: Learn how to use iMessage without a phone number.

3. Add Special Effect to Message Bubble Only

If you noticed in the above method, we switched to the Screen tab from the Bubble tab. Basically, you get more effects under the Bubble tab. Unlike screen effects, they animate only the message bubble and not the entire screen.

Follow these steps to animate message bubble on iPhone:

Step 1: Type your message in the typing box and then hold the Send icon.

Step 2: You will reach the Send with effect screen. The Bubble tab will open automatically where you will see the following list of iMessage secrets like Pew Pew.

imessage Bubble effect

List of iMessage Bubble Effects

Slam: Shakes all the previous message bubbles in the message thread.

Loud: Increases the font size of the message.

Gentle: Decrease the font size of the message.

iMessage Bubble Loud effect

Invisible ink: Hides the message initially. It will be visible only when the recipient taps on the message.

iMessage Invisible ink

Step 3: Tap on the circular icon next to the available effect to preview it. Tap on the Send button next to the effect that you want to send.

imessage send bubble effect

Tip: Learn how to send text message instead of iMessage on iPhone.

4. Send Handwritten Message

Handwritten messages are so rare these days. If you want to relive those moments and add a personalized touch to your messages, you can create handwritten messages in iMessage. The message will animate for the recipient as if you are writing it at that moment only.

To send a handwritten note from an iPhone or iPad, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the chat thread in the Messages app.

Step 2: Rotate your iPhone to switch to the Landscape mode. This is required as the handwriting option appears in Landscape mode only on iPhone. Tap on this icon. On iPad, tap on the Handwriting icon available on the Apple keyboard in the iMessage app.

imessage handwritten note

Step 3: With your finger or Apple pencil, write your message in the writing area, or choose a saved message from the bottom list. Tap on the arrows on the left and right edge to increase the writing area. Tap on Done.

imessage handwritten note write

Step 4: Finally, tap on the Send button.

Send iMessage handwritten note

5. Create Your Own Special Effects

Another iMessage hack like Pew Pew is to create your own special effects. For instance, if you type an emoji and add an Echo effect, it creates an interesting effect. The receiver will be surprised to see such a cool iMessage trick. Similarly, you can add effects to Memojis or handwritten notes and create your own special effects

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Open the iMessage thread.

Step 2: Type any emoji, let’s say the laughing emoji. Now, press and hold the Send button and go to the Screen tab. Choose the Echo effect. You can choose any bubble or screen effect of your choice.

iMessage Custom Special effect

Step 3: Send the custom special effect in iMessage by pressing the Send button.

iMessage custom effect send 1

Similarly, create a handwritten text but do not send it. Instead, hold the Send icon and choose an effect of your choice.

Pro Tip: Find out how to use iMessage (Memoji) stickers in WhatsApp and other apps.

6. iMessage Dinosaur Effect

You may have heard about the iPhone message trick involving the dinosaur. For this, you need to type two dinosaurs and an asteroid emoji. Then, add an Echo screen effect to it.

Here are the steps to use iMessage dinosaur trick on iPhone:

Step 1: Open the message thread in the Messages app.

Step 2: Type Dinosaur and the emoji will show up above the keyboard. Select the green dinosaur.

iMessage Dinousaur

Step 3: Again, type Dinosaur and select the blue dinosaur emoji.

iMessage Dinosaur add

Step 4: Type Asteroid and select the asteroid emoji.

iMessage Asteroid add

Step 5: Long press the Send button and go to the Screen tab.

iMessage Dinosaur effect

Step 6: Make sure the Echo effect is selected. Tap on the Send icon to send the message with the dinosaur effect.

iPhone dinousaur trick

7. Send Disappearing Message Effects

With iMessage, you can send disappearing messages just like WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat, etc., with the Digital Touch feature’s help. The messages will disappear after two minutes of sending them. You can send a hand-drawn sketch or animated graphics to express your feelings, such as heartbeat, taps, fireball, kiss, and a broken heart.

Note: This feature was essentially designed for Apple Watch, where the receiver would actually feel vibrations based on the sent effect. On iPhone and iPad, one sees an animation.

To send such messages, follow these steps:

Step 1: In the chat thread, tap on the Digital Touch icon (heart with two fingers) present in the list of apps in iMessage.

Tip: Learn how to add, delete, or hide iMessage apps on iPhone.

Step 2: The Digital Touch screen will open. Here’s how to use various effects:

iMessage Digital Touch

List of Digital Touch Effects

Sketch: Start drawing on the canvas to create a sketch. Tap on the color icon on the left side to change the color. Tap on the send icon to send the message.

Taps: Tap repeatedly on the canvas area to create a ring effect on iPhone and iPad. Tap on the color icon if you want to change the ring color. Once you stop tapping, the animation will be sent.

imessage digital touch disappearing

Fireball: Touch and hold the canvas area with one finger to create a fireball effect. Drag your finger to move the fireball. Life the finger to send the effect.

Kiss: To send a kiss, tap on the canvas area with two fingers. Without fully lifting your fingers, tap again using two fingers to add more kisses. Lift fingers to send a kiss.

imessage digital touch kiss

Heartbeat: Touch and hold the canvas area with two fingers until you see a heart. Lift the fingers to send the animated heart.

Broken heart: Touching the canvas with two fingers creates a heart. But if you drag down, you will have a broken heart effect. So touch and hold the screen with two fingers. Without lifting your fingers, drag down using two fingers.

imessage digital touch heart

Pro Tip: If you receive a disappearing message, tap on the message to view it on the full screen.

8. Send Disappearing Photos and Videos

Using the same Digital Touch feature, you can send disappearing photos and videos with the ability to draw and add effects to them.

Step 1: Tap on the Digital Touch icon in the iMessage thread. Tap on the Video icon next to the canvas.

imessage digital touch video

Step 2: The video preview screen will open. Let’s start with photos first.

Take a photo using the Capture icon. Once the photo is captured, draw on it using your finger with the help of the available colors. Or you can add effects like a heartbeat, heartbreak, and kiss using the same gestures as mentioned above. Tap on the send icon.

Imessage photo disappeaing

For videos, you can add an effect or draw over it before or while you are creating a video. The effects cannot be added after taking a video. Hold the shutter icon to start recording the video. Draw or add an effect and hit the send button.

imessage digital touch video effect

Tip: Learn how to send disappearing messages on iPhone.

9. Add Camera Effects

Finally, you can make your photos and videos interesting by adding filters, text, fun stickers, Memojis, etc., on them in iMessage.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to the message thread where you want to send the message.

Step 2: Tap on the Camera icon next to the typing area followed by the Effects icon at the bottom.

imessage camera effects

Step 3: Select the effect that you want to add. You can add a filter, text, shapes, etc. Let’s go with Filters.

Step 4: Tap on the desired filter to preview it. Then, press the X icon to close the filter window.

imessage camera effect filter

Step 5: Press the Capture button to take the photo.

Step 6: Press the Send button.

imessage camera effect send

Pro Tip: Find out various ways to fix if you are unable to send pictures via iMessage.

FAQs About iPhone Text Tricks Like Pew Pew

1. Can you react to messages in the Messages app on iPhone?

Yes, long press on the message and select the emoji that you want to react with. Learn how to fix message reactions not working on iPhone.

2. How to fix unable to see message effects on iPhone?

If you are unable to see message effects, you must have disabled the auto-play message setting. To enable that, go to Settings > Accessibility > Motion. Enable the toggle next to Auto-play Message effects.

3. Can you use iMessage shortcuts like Pew Pew on Android?

No. These cool iMessage tricks work only between Apple devices.

Have Fun with iMessage

Those were the cool iMessage tricks like Pew Pew on iPhone. You can have more fun on iMessage by installing apps. Check out the best iMessage apps. Also, learn how to send a voice message on iPhone.

Last updated on 29 August, 2023

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