Mastering iOS 17 Messages App: Customizing and Managing Apps for Effortless Chatting

Apple‘s iOS 17 has transformed the Messages app with user-friendly enhancements. Discover how to optimize and organize the Messages App’s applications effectively.

Navigating the Messages app menu may appear bewildering, especially for new iPhone users or those new to “iMessage.” Adding, managing, and removing apps might not be as straightforward as expected, but fret not. This guide will walk you through harnessing these new features to their full potential.

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The Revamped Messages App Applications in iOS 17

iOS 17 brought a significant evolution to Messages apps, enhancing the user experience. Apple’s developers moved away from cluttering the keyboard with new features, opting for a sleeker, more streamlined, and discreet interface. This redesign offers a cleaner and visually appealing conversation space.

In iOS 17’s message chat, you’ll spot a small plus sign on the left, just before the text entry area. Tapping this plus sign triggers an animated overlay that reveals five built-in apps or features, alongside a “More” button for extra options.

Customizing Your Options List By default, this initial list of built-in apps comprises:

  1. Camera
  2. Photos
  3. Stickers
  4. Audio
  5. Location

The plus sign provides quick access to these apps or Messages features. However, there’s room for customization. You can personalize the apps displayed in this initial list and even adjust the number of apps shown, ranging from none (excluding the “More” button) to a maximum of 11, in addition to the “More” button.

How to Customize Your List of Options and Applications

Managing the order of Messages apps follows a similar process to adding them. Follow these steps:

  1. Inside a message chat, tap the plus sign on the left side.
  2. If the app you want is in the first list, tap and hold it to rearrange it.
  3. If it’s not in the initial list, tap “More” to access the second list.
  4. Scroll to locate your desired app, tap and hold it, then drag it.
  5. By dragging the app high enough, it will exit the “More” screen and join the first overlay.
  6. You can also transfer apps from the “More” list to the first overlay and rearrange them to your liking.

Notably, there seems to be an exception when it comes to moving apps: the App Store app remains permanently at the top of the “More” screen and cannot be rearranged.

Adding and Removing Apps in the Messages App

While you can utilize any app featured in Messages, removing one of these apps is a bit trickier. To delete a Messages app, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and select “Messages.”
  3. Within the section, tap “iMessage Apps.”
  4. Locate the app you wish to delete and tap the red delete icon on the left.
  5. Confirm the deletion by tapping “Delete.”
  6. In the pop-up message, tap “Delete” again.

It’s important to note that iOS will warn you that deleting an app this way will delete it not only in the Messages app, but also from your iPhone as a whole. You can’t keep the app on your phone and delete it only from your Messages App list.

Although iOS 17 has made the Messages apps more elegant and efficient, understanding exactly how they work and managing them may take some learning time or a tutorial like this one to learn. With this guide, you’ll be well prepared to take full advantage of these features and improve your chatting experience in the native Messages app in iOS 17.