iOS 15: All the New Messages Features

iOS 15 Messages features

After much anticipation, Apple finally announced iOS 15 at the 2021 Worldwide Developer Conference. This latest update is packed with significant upgrades that will make you fall even more in love with your iPhone. The Messages app is also getting plenty of new features in iOS 15.

Many of the new features in the Messages app in iOS 15 will help users make more lifelike connections with friends and family, improve user experience, and make the best of on-device intelligence. In this article, we’ll put a spotlight on what’s new with iOS 15’s Messages app. We’ll also go over how you can use the upgrade to have more seamless conversations with your nearest and dearest.

If you have not already, make sure to check out the best iOS 15 features that will be coming to your iPhone later this year. The iOS 15 Beta 1 is already available to download for compatible iPhone models. So, if you want, you can install the iOS 15 beta on your iPhone right away if you wish to.

New iOS 15 Messages Features

1. Photo Stacks and Collages

iOS 15 will come with fun new designs that display shared images in stacks and collages, making for a cleaner, more interactive interface. A small collection of images appears as a collage that you can take in at a glance, while a larger collection appears as an elegant stack that you can swipe through. Tap to view them as a grid and easily respond with a Tapback or a text reply. By tapping a new save button right in the Messages conversation, you can quickly save photos sent to you to your Photos Library.

Collage View in Messages

2. Shared with You Tab

iOS 15 will save every photo you receive via Messages in a new Shared with You section tab in the For You page. It will also add the photos to your Library and features them in generated Memories as well. With on-device intelligence, Apple will also determine which photos are most likely to be relevant, such as those with your face in them.

When your friends share links to playlists, articles, or videos, the Messages app shares the data with the original app that opens each type of media, saving all the stuff in a new ‘Shared with You’ tab in the app. You can catch up with all the gist your friends want you in on.

You can check all shared articles in the News app or Safari.  Each app lets you know which friend shared what article in a little tab at the top of each article. Tapping the tab takes you right back to Messages, so you can pick up the conversation and let them know what you liked about the item they shared.

Shared with You is also available in Apple Podcasts and the Apple TV app.

Shared with You iOS 15

3. Pinned Content

On Messages in iOS 15, you can pin particularly interesting shared content to the top of the screen in a conversation. Pinned content will also be elevated in Shared with You and Messages search results. You can also use pinned items as reminders to pick up important conversations.

Then, whenever you tap on your contact’s name at the top of the Messages window, a new section will appear on top with all of your pinned content. This is in addition to the previously existing “links,” “photos,” and “documents” sections.

4. New Memoji CustomizationNew Memoji menu in Messages in iOS 15

If you’re a fan of the Memoji, you’ll love the upgrades that iOS 15 will bring to the feature.  You can now customize your Memoji with over 40 outfit options to reflect your personal style, mood, or the season. To boot, you can choose up to three different colors for each outfit and share your new Memoji with your friends as stickers. Speaking of stickers, iOS 15 will add nine new Memoji stickers to your collection, including one that lets you send a shaka, a hand wave, a lightbulb moment, and more.

Also, you can choose from three new glasses shapes: heart, star, and retro, and choose a color for your frame and lenses. More customization options include multicolored headwear, different eye colors for each eye, and inclusive representation icons such as cochlear implants of oxygen tubes.

These new Memoji upgrades will bring more expression to your conversations, making them more personal and memorable.

5. Redesigned Message Notifications

The Notifications panel is getting a new look as well, with contact photos for people and larger app icons. These design changes will make it easier for you to recognize important texts at a glance.  To avoid distraction, you can mute any messaging thread temporarily, for the next hour, or for the day.

Also, if you’re getting notifications from an active thread but you’re not engaging with it, you’ll get a suggestion to mute it.

New Notifications panel in iOS 15

When Will iOS 15 Be Released?

Usually, Apple releases a new iOS version around the same time as a new iPhone, which is usually in September. Meanwhile, Apple has opened iOS 15 beta testing to developers; the public beta is expected to be released in July.

By registering your phone on Apple’s beta website, you’ll be able to access the public beta of iOS 15.

More Meaningful Ways to Connect

That’s it, folks! Many of us are still struggling with the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge strain that it has caused in our relationships. With these updates, Apple has risen to the challenge to optimize tech in ways that facilitate easier, more enjoyable communication across borders. The new Messages updates allow for more in-depth shared experiences. We know it probably won’t feel the same as being in the same room with a friend, but judging by Apple’s promises, it’ll come close.


Excited to try iOS 15? So are we, but you may want to check out why you should not install the beta version just yet.