Among the apps that saw big changes in iOS 8, Messages might be near the top of the list. For one, it will be one of the apps who will benefit greatly from the new interactive notifications. Users will be able to reply to text messages from the lock screen, a feature which sherlocks BiteSMS, one of the more popular apps amongst jailbreakers. But inside the Messages apps is even more exciting, with new features that borrow from popular messaging apps WhatsApp and SnapChat. Whether you are familiar with either of those apps, you will find the new features to be extremely useful.

Messaging App iOS 8

Send voice messages through Messages in iOS 8

A feature that WhatsApp users have been using for quite some time, Messages now gains the capability to send short audio messages within your thread. The interface in iOS 8 Messages app makes it easy. Tap and hold the microphone to start recording your message. If you are happy with the recording, simply swipe up to send it. The person will receive an in-line audio message. To discard, swipe left. It’s this ease of use that has made it a key feature in Whats App and looks to gain similar popularity among iOS users when it is released later this fall.

Messages voice record

Send Video Clips Quickly, Like SnapChat

You don’t have to leave the Messages app to send videos. In iOS 8, you can quickly capture video by recording with the app. Similar to how audio recording works, video works the same way, by holding the camera icon. This is also a fast way to send selfies. Apple mentioned that these were destructible, so wouldn’t’ tap into your storage capacity.

Support for Group Messaging

iOS 8 supports group messaging. You can create a group message conversation and include who you want and don’t want included in the thread. If you decide to, you can also leave the conversation. Group messaging can often result in constant incoming messages, which isn’t always ideal. Messages builds in a new ‘Do Not Disturb’ option, not to be confused with the Do Not Disturb feature used to keep your late nights quiet.

Group messaging do no disturb

Location Sharing

“Where are you?” is a common question, one now that can be answered easier and more efficiently with the iOS 8 Messages app. You can choose to “Send my current location” or “Share my location”. You set the time period for how long your location data will be accessible. This should make it easy to hook up friends or find loved ones in an emergency.

Share location

More Powerful Photo Sharing

Photos play a key role in messaging and it does so in iOS 8. Messages now supports sending of multiple photos. The process for sharing remains the same. You tap on Camera icon, enter the Camera Roll and select photos or videos to send. There is also a new view that allows you to see every attachment from a single conversation thread.

They could have spent an hour today just discussing big changes to the Messages app. As one of the core stock apps, it’s great to see Apple put so much effort into improving the app. Did they miss anything? What are your thoughts on the new Messages app in iOS 8?