Apple’s Messages gets better group replies and Memoji updates, including face coverings

Today’s WWDC keynote has been much more Memoji-centric than usual. The invite art featured them and they were all over the intro. They also got a significant amount of face time during today’s iOS 14 Messages break down.

According to the company the messaging app has experienced a 40% year-over-year increase. The biggest updates to the app include the ability to pin specific messages to the top for easy access, and the ability to reply directly to messages in group chat. Doing so will alert the specific person you’re responding to — a big upgrade for those who rely on Messages for keeping in touch with big groups.

Also on the plate are 20 new hairstyles and more ages for Memojis, along with additional skin color choices, facial hair and makeup. Also fitting given the … well, state of the world, is the addition of face coverings, including the pictured surgical mask, which, for better or worse, is something we’re going to be living with for a while. That follows other recent accessories additions for the avatars, including last year’s AirPods, glasses and hats.