Calling & Texting

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.

How To: Automatically Silence Your Phone When You're Wearing Your Galaxy Watch

Smartwatches are great for notifications. No need to dig your phone out of your pocket or purse when someone texts you — just glance at your wrist! It's great for driving, walking, and any other activities where you need to stay connected to your surroundings. Except it can still be a little distracting, depending on your settings.

How To: The Secret iPhone Dialer Trick That Dials Extensions Automatically & Navigates Automated Call Menus for You

Automatic phone menus are the worst. You call the number, listen to prerecorded prompts, press button, listen, press button, listen, press button, listen, until you're routed or connected to the right extension, directory, menu, person, or whatever. But you can bypass these automated attendants to get right to where you need to go by setting up a simple shortcut on your iPhone.

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: 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: Dial These Secret Codes to See if Someone Is Hijacking Calls & Texts on Your iPhone

Malevolent hackers can divert your incoming calls and texts to any number they want, and they don't need to be a criminal mastermind to do it. Even friends and family members can reroute your incoming calls and messages so that they know exactly who's trying to reach you, and all it takes is seconds of access to your iPhone or wireless account. These secret codes can help uncover them.

How To: Eliminate Unwanted Texts & iMessages on Your iPhone to Avoid Spam, Scams & Phishing Attacks

Next to spam calls, few things are more annoying than being inundated with spam, scam, and smishing texts. Your iPhone's Messages app should be a place for your friends and family to stay in touch, not a minefield of phishing attacks, malicious links, and viruses. Luckily, there are quite a few methods to block and report your way to a more spam-free iPhone.

How To: Set Custom Chat Wallpapers in Signal for All Conversations & Single Threads

Popular chat apps like Facebook Messenger and (these days, sadly) WhatsApp might not cut it when it comes to privacy and security, but they sure do offer some fun ways to customize your chats. If you're worried that moving to Signal Private Messenger means you lose these features, don't — the privacy-focused app also lets you choose custom chat wallpapers for all your threads.

How To: Stop Incoming Calls from Ignoring Do Not Disturb on Your iPhone

Do Not Disturb is the best way to block out all interruptions on your iPhone without having to power down. All notifications and alerts are silenced, but the same can't be said for phone calls. By default, repeat calls will bypass Do Not Disturb, which can be quite frustrating when you're in a movie, classroom, or board meeting. It's good for emergencies, but not for people who can't take the hint.

How To: Pin Your Favorite TikTok DMs to the Top of Your Direct Messages Inbox for Quicker Access

Want quick access to message threads with your favorite or important contacts? Just pin them to the top of the conversations list. It's a common feature in many messaging apps, including Apple's Messages in iOS 14. While it's not particularly well-advertised, TikTok also lets you pin chats to the top of your direct messages inbox on Android or iPhone.

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