A group conversation can be a chaotic place. Even with a small number of people, you still may get more messages than you can keep track of on your iPhone. What makes it even worse is trying to sort through all of the conversations within conversations. Apple, however, wants to make things easier on all of us, which is why iOS 14 allows you to respond to specific iMessages using inline replies.
Group chats, particularly ones with many active participants, could bombard your iPhone with hundreds of texts in a single day. It can get overwhelming real quick unless you take precautions to hide all notifications for that conversation. But there's another option now, one that'll make sure you only get alerts for the messages that matter to you most in the thread.
Directing a message at a specific person in a group conversation, or to a select few people in the group, can be difficult if you're in a particularly active or hectic chat. Notifications and badges on your iPhone can help you keep track of important messages, but it's still easy to miss one meant for you and not the entire group — which is why you can now mention contacts, or get tagged, in Messages on iOS 14.
We've seen some Android phones in the past make answering calls as simple as lifting the phone to your ear. Although it's not a highly mentioned feature, you can enable this setting on your OnePlus device in a few taps and stop having to fumble with an on-screen slider or button.
On the Android version of the Telegram app, the attachment icon disappears when you input your first letter or emoji. This "feature" forces you to either delete what you wrote to attach a picture first, or just send the file afterward. Since both of those options suck, we were happy to find a hidden third way.
Siri has slimmed down in iOS 14. The assistant now appears as a compact icon at the bottom of the screen instead of hijacking your entire iPhone. It's a welcome change to a user interface that has always felt a bit clunky, but just because Siri's UI has simplified doesn't mean that its capabilities have too. On top of several new features, Siri now lets you record and send audio messages using only your voice.
How To: Bring Back Full-Screen Incoming Call Alerts for FaceTime, Phone & Other Calling Apps in iOS 14
In iOS 13 and under, whenever you were in an app or on the home screen, and a Phone or FaceTime call came in, the entire screen would be taken over by the incoming call. Apple changed it to a subtle banner notification in iOS 14 so that it doesn't wholly obfuscate what you're doing when the call happens. However, you can get the old design back if that works better for you.
Apple has introduced several new features to its native Messages app with iOS 14. When it comes to group chats, you can now pin those conversations, use inline replies, and receive notifications only when you're tagged. And if that wasn't good enough, you or anyone else in the group can assign a photo for the entire group.
How To: Stop Photos from Automatically Creating iCloud Links When Sharing Images & Videos from Your iPhone
If you use iCloud Photos, Apple's iCloud link feature is meant to make sharing multiple photos and videos faster and easier, but it's not as great as you might think. Luckily, there's a way to stop your iPhone from creating them automatically, as long as you're running iOS 13 or later.
Apple's big iOS 14 update includes Memoji improvements such as new hairstyles and headwear to choose from for your personalized Animoji character. Even better, there are now face coverings, so you no longer have to resort to that one masked emoji to get the point across in these times of COVID-19.
Although Facebook has some questionable privacy and security practices, you'll find it still offers you ways to protect the information that's important to you. One of those ways is locking Messenger behind biometric authentication protocols such as Face ID and Touch ID, ensuring that no one else can access your private chats.
Facebook Messenger's user base has grown so much that it has taken over text messaging as the primary contact method for many people. However, sometimes you might want to hide your online status from specific contacts and appear offline to others. There's a neat little trick you should know that can help you achieve this.
Screen recording is an essential tool for sharing what's on our smartphones. If you want to send your friends and family an unsharable video you're watching, or a neat trick you discovered on your phone, recording your screen is one way to do so. Messenger, Facebook's standalone chat app, simplifies the experience by implementing live screen shares directly in video calls.
Now that Google Meet is free for anyone with a Gmail address, you can expect to see invites from Google's service alongside Zoom calls.
Facebook Messenger is a messaging app first, but of its more than 1.3 billion monthly users, 32 percent use its video chat feature at least once every month. While it may seem pretty straightforward to video call with family and friends on Messenger, there are many tips and tricks that can help enhance your experience.
With Zoom and Google Meet, you can zoom in using your rear camera on a video call to focus on something far away or to get a closeup view. But in Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram, and most other video chat apps, zoom functionality is disabled. And it may appear to be blocked in FaceTime too, but that's not the case — the feature is just hiding in plain sight.
How To: 5 Ways to Communicate Safely on Your Smartphone — Keep Police & Big Data Out of Your Conversations
It is well documented that what you say and do online is tracked. Yes, private organizations do their best to protect your data from hackers, but those protections don't extend to themselves, advertisers, and law enforcement.
These days, you can FaceTime with family and friends whether you're at home connected to Wi-Fi or on-the-go with mobile data. You may have noticed, however, that your iPhone will sometimes drop Wi-Fi and rely on cellular instead — whether you're placing or receiving a FaceTime call. While that's not an expected result, there is a workaround to get your FaceTime calls back on track.
Although Telegram wasn't able to make our roundup for the best encrypted messaging app, it's my go-to for group messaging thanks to its ever-expanding list of features. The app even makes jumping into group chats fun and easy by allowing you to set a home screen shortcut for your favorite Telegram threads.
It's open season on Zoom, the video conferencing platform that has grown in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic but has come under fire due to privacy issues.