How to Become a Master of Messaging in iOS8

Nic Crowther
Wed 20 May

So, you’ve got yourself a nice shiny and MUCH BIGGER iPhone. We can only assume you’ve not dropped it in the last month, and you’re starting to take advantage of all the new candy in iOS8.

So what does the new operating bring for you and your business? Well, Messages is becoming a highly flexible and powerful little app that offers some great options for the way you communicate.

Here are five productivity tips, tricks and apps that will have your day in order before Siri can wish you a good morning.

1.  Reply to messages in the lockscreen.

When a message pops up on the lockscreen of your phone, you no longer need to unlock the screen and open the app in order to reply. Simply swipe to the left across the notification and a response field will appear. Nice and quick and easy.

2.  ‘Do Not Disturb’ and leaving conversations.

Although it’s been around for a while, Do Not Disturb is the best way to stop your phone buzzing away with emails, texts and phone calls. If you’re sick of overnight emails buzzing as you sleep, simply jump into Settings > Do Not Disturb and set the time you wish to be left in peace.

The same goes for multiple-person messages where you may be included in long and irrelevant thread of back-and-forth conversation by other parties.  To silence the constant updates, tap Details at the top of the thread and either turn on Do Not Disturb or tap Leave this Conversation. Both options will bring sweet relief.

3.  Handoff

Have you spent minutes crafting the perfect message to send to a colleague, only to have an urgent phone call tear you away from your task? Handoff is Apple’s new way to ensure you can pick up where you left off, no matter what shiny Apple device you’re working. So long as you’re signed in to iCloud across devices, you iMac, MacBook or iPad will all have your half completed work ready for you to complete and send whenever you’re ready.

It works for Pages and Mail as well – so long as they are the propriety Apple programs and wifi or cellular data is available.

4.  Sending Audio Messages.

Can’t be bothered typing? The good news is you can now cut Siri out of the loop. When your recipient lights up in blue – meaning they also use iMessage – tap and hold the microphone icon to the right of the entry field and ramble off a few sentences before letting go of the icon and hitting the ‘up’ arrow. It’s much quicker than typing, more direct than a phone call and easier to decipher than Siri.

5.  Listening to Audio Messages.

You might be on a bus or in a meeting and have no desire to hear the Audio Message that may be something not quite suitable for those around you. Instead of having the verbal tirade escape from the speakers of your phone for everyone to hear, go to Settings > Messages and click the button for Raise to Listen.

It will work like you’re taking a call on your phone by using the accelerometer and proximity sensors to know that your ear is ready and waiting.

There you go. Get your fingers dancing expand that special bond you have with your phone. Various aspects of iOS 8 are available on iDevices as old as the iPhone 4s, so undoubtedly there are at least one or two of these tips that will work for you.