Calling & Texting

How To: If You Don't Like This Always-on Apple Messages Feature, There's a Secret Way to Disable It

Apple automatically converts most URLs in the Messages app into rich link previews, but they aren't always pretty, and sometimes you just want to see the full URL instead. While there is no setting on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS that disables rich link previews in the Messages app, there is an easy way to show the URL complete with the scheme, domain name, and path.

How To: There's a Super Secret Message Effect for iMessage Chats — Here's How You Send It

Apple has a secret iMessage effect so hidden that there's only one way to unlock it, and it's not by digging through the Messages app's settings, tools, effects, or interface. However, it's used the same way whether you're messaging from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, so it's easy to remember once you know.

How To: iPhone Not Getting Any Photo Messages? iOS 15 Updates Disable MMS on Google Fi & Other Carriers — Here's the Fix

If you have an iPhone running iOS 15 that's connected to Google Fi or another mobile virtual network operator, you may not be getting any photos or videos in Messages. That may be because you recently installed a software update, and you'll have to restore your cellular data network settings to get MMS working again.

How To: The New Way to Start a FaceTime Audio Call from Messages in iOS 15

FaceTime audio calling is a great alternative to regular phone calls on your iPhone because it usually has better audio quality and fewer dropped calls than regular calls over cellular or Wi-Fi calling. Plus, it's easier to start group chats, and you have the choice to turn on your camera. If you frequently use the "audio" button in Messages to start FaceTime audio calls, know that things work differently in iOS 15.

How To: Keep Other iMessage Users from Editing or Taking Back the Messages They Send to You

Apple is adding controversial features to its Messages app that lets you edit or delete any iMessage you send in a conversation. You may only use them to fix autocorrect failures or take back something you accidentally sent, but others may have malicious intentions. Luckily, there are a few ways to protect yourself from evildoers and nefarious tricksters.

How To: Use Any Emoji as a Message Reaction in WhatsApp for iOS, Android, Desktop, and Web

Instead of responding to a WhatsApp message with short texts like "LOL" or thinking too hard about something meaningful to say, use an emoji reaction. They cut down on clutter in group chats and take up less space than typing emoji individually in a conversation. WhatsApp initially limited reactions to just six emoji, but a new update lets you use any emoji you want.

How To: Use This Trick to Fake Dropped Calls on Your iPhone When You Don't Want to Talk Anymore

You see it in the movies all the time. A character on the phone doesn't like what the other person is saying or telling them to do, or they just don't want to talk to them anymore, so they fake bad reception and cut the call off. In real life, it's pretty easy to tell when someone is doing it, and there are better ways to end a call abruptly so that it looks like you didn't hang up on them.

How To: The Trick to Managing iCloud Contact Groups Right from Your iPhone (Since Apple's Contacts App Won't Let You)

You can view and hide iCloud contact groups on your iPhone, but Apple won't let you create or delete groups or add or delete contacts from any groups unless you're on a tablet or computer. Why Apple refuses to add a group management tool to Contacts on iOS is anybody's guess, but there is a workaround you can use instead.

How To: Add Android, Linux & Windows Users to FaceTime Calls in iOS 15

Apple's exclusive chat services, iMessage and FaceTime, force many of us to stay locked into iOS, iPadOS, and macOS to communicate with other Apple users, so chatting with Android-using friends means SMS texts, third-party messaging apps, and third-party video chat services. However, Apple is breaking boundaries with iOS 15 so that we can FaceTime with Android, Linux, and Windows users.

How To: The Secret to Typing in All Caps on Apple Watch

There's no default keyboard on the Apple Watch, but watchOS has another way to let you type text out for emails, messages, music searches, and more on the small display, and that's Scribble. With it, you simply draw letters and other characters on the screen with your finger, then your watch converts that into plain text. However, it's not perfect, and getting the nuances of regular typing can be tough.

How To: If 'Messages' Consumes Too Much iPhone or iCloud Storage, Don't Delete Your Conversations Just Yet

When iOS starts barking at you that you've run out of iCloud or iPhone storage, a quick trip to your settings to see what the culprit is may show that Messages is one of the worst offenders. But if deleting message after message doesn't free up your storage much, it's likely because "Messages" doesn't really mean messages.

How To: Disable the iMessage Typing Bubble Indicator So Others Don't Know You're Currently Active in the Chat

Apple's iMessage is one of the main reasons to use an iPhone, and there's a lot you can do in chats without being overly complicated. But there's one issue that continues to drive people nuts, and that's the blue typing bubble indicator with the moving ellipsis (•••). Can you stop it? Not officially, but there are workarounds.

How To: Send Audio Messages on Your Apple Watch Instead of Transcribed Text

If you're a fan of sending audio messages on your iPhone, you might be disappointed when tapping the microphone button in the Messages app on an Apple Watch. You'll see it when crafting a message, but it won't send any audio because it's for Dictation, which turns your speech into text. If you'd rather use it to compose and send audio clips, there's a way to do just that.

How To: Group Texts Split into Separate Conversations on Your iPhone? Here's the Fix

Ah, the dreaded "green bubble" group chat. All it takes is one non-iPhone contact to turn an entire thread from iMessage paradise to SMS slog. Normally, it isn't that bad since the group chat still functions. However, sometimes, you end up getting messages individually instead of in a single group thread. Before you go blaming your Android friends, know that the issue is probably on your end.

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