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Thursday, May 18, 2017

1811. Messages Interface in iOS

I have a new iPhone 7, and I’m having a weird problem with using the Messages app. It used to work such that after I typed a message, I pressed the send button and the text sent. Now, I see a secondary screen that asks if I want to send the message with the options titled Slam, Loud, Gentle, or Invisible Ink. The screen also shows options at the top titled Bubble and Screen. What’s up with this stupid stuff? I don’t want to do anything except send my message. Can I turn this off?
Clearly, Apple feels that Messages is used mostly by teens who like the option to send messages using fun effects, such as having the text slam into place on the receiving end. And they’re probably right. But us more mature folks simply want to use the messaging features without any fancy visual additions. You can, of course, but you’ve missed one important difference between older phones and the iPhone 7 (actually, this feature appeared in the iPhone 6 Plus).
The new feature is 3D Touch: If you press harder on the screen, different things happen. This feature is awesome in some situations—it makes it simple to press hard on an icon on the screen, and have a menu of options you’re most likely going to want to accomplish pop up. For example, hard press on the Mail icon, and you’ll get options that include New Message, making it quick and easy to create a new message without waiting for the Mail app to load.
The problem is that 3D Touch is getting in your way. Rather than just tapping the Send button, you’re pressing it too hard, so it goes into its 3D Touch mode. This mode is, as you’ve guessed, the mode you’re seeing, with all the frivolous messaging options you’ve complained about. The answer is simple: Touch the button, don’t press it. That will solve the problem.

If you want to turn off the feature, we’re sorry to say that there isn’t an option. You can disable the effects on incoming messages (Settings->General->Accessibility->Reduce Motion->Reduce Motion (turn the setting on). Turn off Auto-play Message Effects. But you’ll still see the options for messages you send. Really, the answer is to be gentler as you type. Hopefully, Apple will provide some way to avoid the option altogether when sending texts, but it’s not there yet.

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