iMessage already has a few inbuilt Apple apps like Apple Pay, Apple Music, Photos, etc. These are really useful and make things convenient. However, there are a lot of third-party apps that let you cool things without ever leaving iMessage. For example, you can send self-destructing messages, create polls, share expenses, etc. So, let’s see some of the best third-party iMessage apps.
Best iMessage Apps
Before we begin, if you can’t find the installed iMessage app in the App Strip, you will have to manually enable them. Simply navigate to the extreme right on the App Strip and tap on the More button. Next, tap “Edit” on the top right corner, and enable the app on the list.
A group chat is 90% chaos and 10% actual conversations. It can be a really convenient way to get their opinion on something until everyone starts typing and it’s chaos all over again. Polls will help you get the poll from everyone in the group chat without any confusion.
Start by tapping the Poll app icon on the App Strip, tap New Poll and add a question. Fill out the possible answer and hit send. People in the group can vote and even add their own options to the poll. It is a much better way to get opinions if you want to plan anything for more than two people. However, every user needs to install the app to use the poll feature.
The Polls app itself is free but you only get one free poll, after that you can unlock the full app for just $0.30. If you’re looking for a free alternative to streamline scheduling, give Doodle app a try.
Install Polls for iMessage (free, in-app purchase)
2. Split It
Unfortunately, Splitwise doesn’t have an iMessage integration therefore we use Split It to settle all our Group expenses. It’s a tiny iMessage app that works only inside iMessage. You can easily create an expense, add participants, and settle up the amount. The app keeps a transaction history for every expense which makes it super useful for settling multiple expenses.
The app automatically shows you how much you owe or are owed. You can settle up individually and even send reminders to your “broke” friends to cough up the money. It’s so much better than texting everyone.
Install Split It (free, $0.99)
3. Time Lock
The Time Lock is a fun way to add curiosity to your conversations. It allows you to send locked messages that can only be viewed for a set amount of time. Let me explain, say you want to announce something to your family group on iMessage, tap the Time Lock app, write the message in the text box, and set a start and end time. The message will only be visible for that time frame and expire automatically.
Time Lock basically lets you send self-destructing messages.
The app is paid and you’ll have to pay $0.99 for every user who wants to see the Time Lock message but if you have Family Sharing turned on, you can all share the app.
Install Time Lock ($0.99)
4. Genius Lyrics
Previously, I would head over to Apple Music to share screenshots of lyrics with my friends. But with the iMessage extension of the Genius app, you can share screenshots of the lyrics right from within the app. You just search for the song, select the portion of lyrics and share it right away. It generates beautiful lyrics snippets neatly visible with the album cover and it looks so much better than a screenshot!
Apart from that, you can create stickers as well. To do all of these, you would have to install the Genius app on your iPhone and it would show up in the App Strip on the bottom.
Install Genius (free)
5. Google Maps
Apple Maps is deeply integrated into iOS but still, there’s no option to send your current location from within the iMessage app. For that, I use the Google Maps iMessage extension. It lets you send your current location to your friends without leaving the iMessage app. I would have appreciated it even more if it allowed a few more features such as sending directions, or custom locations. But, for now, sending the current location will do.
Install Google Maps (free)
6. Google Search
I’m in a pickle, I really like the Gboard for its inbuilt Google search but I don’t want to replace the Apple Stock keyboard because of its accurate 3D touch cursor. So, I use Google’s iMessage app extension which lets me keep using the stock Apple keyboard and still search google and quickly share links on iMessage.
Apart from the standard Google search query, you also get weather details, nearby locations, restaurants, trending news, and videos.
Install Google App(free)
#images is a decent image-sourcing tool for iMessage but it doesn’t come anywhere near the database of Giphy. As Giphy is mostly user-submitted GIFs and images, you get a wide variety of latest images, GIFs, reactions, etc. You can access public images submitted to GIPHY, select one from the trending page, or even create your own GIFs with the Camera. If you have an account on GIPHY then you can simply log in and share your favorites directly. It will take your meme game to another level.
Install GIPHY (free)
OneDrive comes bundled with Windows 10 and if you give it a try, it’s just like any other Cloud Storage service such as Google Drive, or iCloud. I use OneDrive to access Windows folders from an iPhone and I can easily share those files to anyone on iMessage without leaving the app, super convenient.
Google Drive doesn’t have an integration with iMessage, therefore, I can’t use it but if it happens in the future, I’ll update the information here. Meanwhile, use OneDrive to easily share your files.
Install OneDrive (free)
These were some of my favorite iMessage apps that let you enhance the functionality of the iMessage app. Apps like Split It, Time Lock, and Polls are a great way to streamline group activities. Google Search and Google Maps let me be dependent on the Apple Keyboard and still use Google features within the app. I skipped a few apps on the list such as Spotify, YouTube, Google Photos, etc, as I rarely use them to share content on iMessage. What are your favorite iMessage apps? Let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter.
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