Apple Is Making Emoji Three Times Bigger in iOS 10
When it comes to emoji, nothing is more exciting than getting a big batch of news ones via the latest iPhone update. However, when Apple releases iOS 10 this fall, not only can you expect new emoji characters, but also bigger emojis, the ability to automatically swap text with emoji, and several other huge changes to your Messages app.
During the keynote presentation at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday, company executives revealed some of the latest updates to software for the Apple Watch, Mac, Apple TV, and iOS devices like your iPhone that you can expect this fall, including several significant new features coming to the Messages app. Here are a few of the highlights, including the big changes to emoji:
Way bigger emoji
Emoji characters will appear three times bigger in your messages, meaning you'll actually be able to see the difference between characters like the relaxed face and the blush face.
This feature makes your iPhone smart enough to predict what emoji you want to use based on what you've already typed and suggests it so you don't have to tap around looking for it on the emoji menu. For example, if you type "My lips are se" (sealed), the predictive text section of your keyboard will serve up the zipper mouth face emoji.
Easy text/emoji swapping
Instead of switching between the text keyboard and the emoji keyboard as you type your message, you'll soon be able to compose your message with just text, then swap the automatically highlighted words with their corresponding emoji characters just by tapping them. You can watch this in action at the :13 second mark of Apple's new promotional video for iOS 10:
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.
Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and can't wait for the new batch of emoji characters to arrive this fall. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.