Because Digital Touch and 3x bigger emojis weren’t enough, in iOS 10, Apple decided to include the most personal way to send messages to your friends and family. One we’ve been doing for centuries now. Handwritten messages.
Because nothing says I can like some hard to read squiggly lines drawn on the screen. I kid, of course. If done properly, and with care, the end result of handwritten notes can be quite spectacular. That is, if you can figure out where the feature is.
I swear, it took me a couple of days of looking to find this feature. And even then, I stumbled across it, accidentally. Like many new features in Messages, this one is completely hidden from the UI.
Writing Handwritten Messages
So how do you get there?
On your iPhone, open a Messages conversation, tap on the text field that says “iMessage” and here’s the kicker, turn your iPhone sideways.
The second you do this, the entire screen will be replaced with a blank white canvas.
You can doddle here whatever you want. Tap the “arrow” button on the right if you need even more space.
Then once you’re done, tap “Done” from the top-right corner. Or if you want to bring up the keyboard in the landscape view, tap the “Keyboard” icon in the bottom-right.
Choose One Of The Pre-Written Messages
Apple has made this easier for you. On the bottom, you’ll see a row of messages pre-written, quite stylistically, I might add. Things like “thinking of you”, “congratulations” and more. Any handwritten messages you’ve sent previously will also be saved here.
You can just tap one to see the preview, edit them if you want and send them along.
How To Do This On the iPad
Getting to the handwriting screen on the iPad is a bit different. Because there’s an entire dedicated button for it on the software keyboard.
When you tap on the “iMessage” text field, the software keyboard shows up. In the bottom-right corner, next to the “?123” key, you’ll see a new handwriting button.
Tap it and you’ll be taken to the white canvas. On the iPad, you can swipe left/right on the canvas with two fingers to move through.
If you want to see your previous hand drawn messages, tap the “Clock” icon in the bottom-left corner.
That’s it. Let us know what you think of this feature in the comments below.