10 3D Touch Messages secrets iPhone users need

Apple, iOS, Force Touch, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus

We know Apple will continue to place 3D Touch shortcuts across all its product lines as it works to introduce new depth into its user interfaces, meanwhile you’ll find lots of ways to use this feature in every app, including Messages for iPhone, so long as your device supports 3D Touch.


Tap and hold the Messages icon on the Home screen and you’ll be presented with a shortcut that lets you send a New Message or continue one of your three most recent conversations. Tap the ‘New Message’ choice and the cursor will automatically be in position in the address field in the next display so you can define the recipient right away.

Also read: 16 3D Touch tips iPhone 6S users must learn


Press the photo of your contact in the Messages list and a screen appears detailing all available ways to contact that person, just swipe to choose. A small downward facing arrow will appear for contacts who have multiple types of contact – multiple numbers or email addresses, for example. Tap the arrow beside the communication type to choose the appropriate address.


You’ve probably noticed that when you press and hold a conversation in the Messages list you can see the most recent exchanges in the chat, or you can press a little harder to open the conversation. What you might have missed is that when you press a conversation and swipe up you can respond with a standard message or tap “Custom” to write your own reply.

Photo, Video

Press a photo attached to an image and swipe up in order to copy, save or forward the message. Or press a little harder to open the Messages attachments browser where you can explore all the photos exchanged during the chat. This is also how you handle voice files, other audio or video shared in a Messages chat.

Preview Web

In Messages, tap a received URL lightly to preview it, or swipe up to Open Link, Add to Reading List or Copy the URL, or press a little harder to open the link in Safari.

Maps in Messages

Perhaps someone has shared a location or a Map to a destination using a Maps URL? To make use of it, tap the link lightly to preview it, or press hard to access it in full screen. Look to the bottom of the screen to find the Directions To Here tool, which will guide you there.


Press lightly on a number received in a Message and you’ll be given four choices: Call, Message, Add to Existing Contact and Create New Contact..

Word, Pages, PDF

You can preview Word, Pages or PDF documents in Messages, just tap gently to take a look or press hard to open in an appropriate app.


Your iPhone recognizes dates as they appear within conversations and makes them actionable. In Messages press a date lightly to look at it in that day on your calendar, when you can swipe up to Create Event, Show in Calendar or Copy. Press a little harder to open that day in the Calendar.


If the person you are in communication with also uses Messages (watch out for a blue speech bubble) then this also works: Tap and hold the small Camera icon to the left of the text input area and three buttons will appear, tap the top (red) button to make a video, the middle (left) button to grab a photo or tap the cross to dismiss the instruction. You can tap the audio icon to the right to access a similar set of features.

If you take the time you’ll find similar sets of shortcuts peppered all over Apple’s apps in iOS, go take a look and please share your favorites with us in comments below. You can also explore a host of 3D Touch-enabled third party apps here.

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