Mobile messaging apps are incredibly hot right now, as evidenced by Facebook’s recent $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. As popular as various cross-platform solutions like WhatsApp, LINE, Snapchat, Kik and others are becoming, Apple’s own first-party app Messages is still one of the most widely used apps on iOS devices because of its clean interface and solid feature set. iMessages added a new dimension to Apple’s messaging app when it first launched, and it provided yet another feature that helps lock users into the iOS ecosystem.
The recent iOS 8 update introduced several terrific new features to Messages that make iMessage better than ever, but there’s one hidden new feature you didn’t know about that will change the way you use Messages.
Messages probably received one of the biggest consumer-facing overhauls of all the apps in Apple’s iOS 8 update, so there’s plenty to remember in order to get the most out of the latest version of the app. Users can send and receive voice messages, reply to messages using actionable notification, silence specific message threads and even leave a group message thread if it’s getting too noisy.
But did you know that you can also capture a new photo or video and send it instantly with a single touch?
As noted by Reddit user “DayWalkerRunner,” the camera button to the left of the text input field while composing an iMessage now works just like the new voice messaging button, but most people don’t know that. Instead of tapping on it quickly to insert a message or photo, tapping and holding on the camera button will open up a new circular menu that lets you capture a selfie or record a quick video with one swipe.
Lifting your finger after the menu opens will allow you to switch to the rear camera.
Now, it’s important that we warn you to be careful with this cool new feature. You’ll see a preview of the front-facing camera on the screen but as soon as you slide your finger up to the camera button, the phone will capture a photo and send it instantly without giving you an opportunity to review it first.
As you’ll see in the Reddit thread, a number of people have learned that the hard way.