Today at WWDC, Apple introduced iOS 8 and a few new features. Among other things, the Messages app will receive a few new features, including the ability to send audio and video messages, share your location and more.
First, Apple VP of iPad, iPhone and iPod Marketing Greg Joswiak started off with new group messaging features. You can now name your conversation, add or remove people, turn off notifications, or even leave the conversation altogether. iMessage ups its game when it comes to group messaging, putting the service on par with competitors, such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Whatsapp or Line.
While Apple provided a “Find my Friends” app in the App Store to share your location with your friends, it looks like the company just added this feature directly into iMessage. You can share your location with your friend for an hour, a day or forever. This way, you know when your friend is on his or her way.
Finally, Joswiak showcased two unexpected features. You can now quickly send photos, video or audio messages by maintaining your finger on the camera icon and releasing it. It’s quick and easy, not unlike Snapchat. Even more surprising, there is a feature to set messages to expire after a few minutes. It will delete your message from your friend’s phone.
Joswiak didn’t show exactly how it works, he just sent a selfie to Craig Federighi and said that it would self destruct after a few minutes. All these features make iMessage a much more compelling messaging platform.
Yet, there is still one major flaw in iMessage: it only works with iPhone users. What if you want to start a group conversation with your Android friends? What if you want to send a self-destructing selfie to someone who doesn’t use iMessage? While iPhone users will benefit from a seamless improved experience with their iPhone friends, multi-platform messaging platforms will still thrive.