You might not have noticed it yet if you had not opened yet your iMessage after last Monday’s big Apple event, but the Cupertino giant’s iPhones and iPads have just sported a revamped messaging system that combines the styles of WhatsApp and Snapchat into one platform.
The messaging platform, like BBM to BlackBerry users, is perhaps the most frequently opened app on Apple-built mobile devices. So even slight changes to the service such as new ways of attaching photos and videos to the message should catch the attention of millions of people patronizing it.
It had gone through a lot of redesigns, but this one has some familiar looks from other popular instant messaging platforms WhatsApp and Snapchat. It almost seems like Apple combined the two competitors into one app for its wide user base, but with a bunch of fresh enhancements to the system.
Well, if you are already using either or both apps separately, you can easily work your way around this new feature introduced by Apple alongside the iOS 8 at Monday’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which will be rolled out a few months from now.
First off, there is now the visibility of a microphone icon on the text window of iMessage upon which you can press for long in order to record an audio or video message within a limited number of minutes, just like in Instagram. By swiping your finger the message will be sent to the intended recipient.
Apple is lifting this idea from the WhatsApp realm where users can send and receive messages with attachments of photos and videos. You can then play the audio file by clicking on a broken line.
Apple is also borrowing the idea of vanishing photos and videos after a few seconds, in its case after a few minutes. This has been popularly invested with Snapchat, which has captured the hearts of most teen users.
The idea is simple. Apple wanted to spare the users from the hassle of having to clear their mobile devices of these temporary files, which also consume a considerable amount of memory space if left undeleted.
A new feature also enables users to mute a group chat in order to minimize the care of noise that sometimes get in the way of your work or diversion.
You can also respond to audio messages by holding the device to your ear and, when the phone detects its proximity to your ear, it plays the message and waits for you to record your reply in before sending the response to the sender of the audio message. This way, you can stay on the lock screen without having to open the message manually.