News

Here's How to Block iOS 10's New Annoying Messages Animations

It's official: Apple released iOS 10 on Tuesday, complete with dozens of exciting new features (you can finally delete Apple's stock apps now!) that'll make your iPhone and iPad better than ever. And while the update adds several cool features to the Messages app, let's just say the flashy new text animations are... a little much. Thankfully, there's an easy way to turn them off.

After you update, holding down on the redesigned send button in the Messages app allows you to change the way your text message bubbles appear when they send; for example, the "Loud" effect displays your message in giant letters while the bubble shakes slightly for emphasis. If you really want to get someone's attention, you can also send messages with snazzy full-screen animations like floating balloons, a burst of confetti, a laser light show, exploding fireworks, and a shooting star.

As you can imagine, they all have the potential to be annoying, especially if your jerk of friend keeps sending you the damn exploding fireworks over and over again. A quick adjustment in your Settings app, however, will put a stop to the madness.

Here's what you have to do:

1. Open the Settings app
2. Go to the General section
3. Then tap into the Accessibility section
4. Find and tap the setting labeled "Reduce Motion" 
5. Flip the switch

The setting turns off all of the motion -- or animations -- across your entire iPhone, including the zooming effect when you open/close apps and app folders and the parallax that makes your apps look like they're floating over your home screen in 3-D. Most importantly, it blocks all of the messaging animations.

Now, when you go back to the Messages app, you'll no longer have the ability to choose an effect for your message bubbles or any of the full-screen animations. Best of all, if someone sends a message to you that includes any of the special effects, they won't play or appear when you read it, meaning you won't have to worry about a surprise laser show taking over your screen. Instead, the text will appear as it normally would, but with the name of the effect in parentheses just below it. Like this:

As you can see, this is probably the way to go if you're not a fan of the new animations. On the other hand, if you enabled the Reduce Motion setting because you're not a fan of all the zooming affects and parallax elsewhere on your iPhone but don't mind the message animations, it looks like you're out of luck. You'll have to choose between ALL of the motion-like special effects across your iPhone or NONE of them. At least, that appears to be the case for now and could potentially change in future updates.

No matter what you decide to do, just make sure you never end your text messages with a period.

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and enabled the reduced motion setting for other reasons and feels like he's missing out on the message animations now. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.