Apple is finally making all those boring blue message bubbles, well, less boring. In iOS 10, you can customize the text bubbles with various animations. For example, if you want your message to sound loud, there's an option to make it appear bigger and more prominent before settling into the standard message bubble format. There's even an "invisible ink" option that hides your message until the recipient swipes across the bubble to reveal what you said.
Even better, the "invisible ink" feature applies to photos you send, too, meaning you can create an element of suspense when sending a picture of the engagement ring on your finger, for example. The recipient has to slide their finger across the blurred image before they're able to see it clearly. Sending dick pics will never be the same.
Tapbacks & full-screen effects
Think of Facebook post reactions... but for your iMessages. Instead of writing a reply to a message you just got, you can respond even faster with a quick thumbs-up, a thumbs-down, or a HA-HA, among other options, that'll appear right on top of the message.
Conversely, if you want to make your message big and elaborate, the Messages app will come with full-screen visual effects. As demonstrated in the keynote presentation, saying things like "Happy New Year!" will arrive with a giant fireworks display across the screen.
App Store for iMessage
Apple is finally opening iMessage up to developers beyond third-party keyboards. This will allow you to further customize what you can send and receive in the app, like stickers, payments, and apparently, tons of other cool stuff that developers haven't even thought of yet.
Of course, those are just a few of the new features you can expect in the updated operating system sometime this fall, or as part of Apple's Public Beta program sometime next month if you're really dying to get your hands on all the shiny new things. In the meantime, you can check out the company's preview page for a comprehensive rundown of what else is coming.