Text effects coming to Messages in iOS 18 might be able to format individual words

You know how, when you text another iPhone user the word “Congratulations,” both you and the recipient see confetti fall from the top of the screen? Text “Happy Birthday” to another iPhone user and balloons float up from the bottom of the screen. Because any messaging between iOS users and Android users, at least until later this year, is done via SMS, Android users don’t see these effects. Once iOS supports RCS, we could see the Google Messages app show these effects to Android users.

Now, according to unnamed multiple sources cited by MacRumors, Apple is working on a new feature for iOS 18 that will create effects with the actual texted word instead of an image that represents what the word means. For example, this feature might allow you to format a word you text by adding underlining, bold, and italics to it. And again, once the iPhone supports RCS like Apple said it would before the end of this year, the new effects would also appear on an Android device.

RCS, aka Rich Communication Services, is a platform found on certain Android messaging apps like Google Messages that delivers features similar to those found on iMessage. Such features include the ability to view high-resolution images, receive read receipts, see typing indicators, and have messages protected by end-to-end encryption. Right now, whenever an iOS user texts an Android user, the messages are sent via old-school SMS so none of these features are available. 

But wait, iPhone owners. There’s more. MacRumors says that the iOS Messages app in iOS 18 will also offer autocompletion powered by the only two letters in the alphabet that mean anything this year, AI. This feature might not be limited to the Messages app and could also be used by Siri to complete queries being typed to the virtual digital assistant.

We should learn more on June 10th during the WWDC 2024 Keynote which will begin at 10 am PDT/1 pm EDT.

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