Added Functionality Coming to Apple Messages

Added Functionality Coming to Apple Messages
Jun30

Apple likes to keep its operating system locked down to customization. However, the company recently announced that it will be granting access to more third party developers to expand the functionality and features that are included in the Messages app. They seem to have noticed the trend of tech companies investing in other messaging platforms, like Skype and Facebook Messenger, who are adding additional features, apps and bots directly into their messaging app. The end goal is to enable their users to complete more tasks within the single app, for example communicating with a co-worker about lunch plans and then paying directly without leaving the app. In the Keynote that occurred in June of 2016, Apple announced its plan to amplify the creative and interactive aspect of the messages themselves. One of the new changes affects the beloved Emojis. The size of these graphics will now be three times larger, which makes them appear like stickers and much easier to see. Also related to Emojis, after you have typed your message you will be able to tap the Emoji button and any word that can be replaced with one of the many emojis will be highlighted and replaced with the graphic. This will cut down response time since users will no longer have to swipe through the many pages and multiple categories to find the applicable character. A third update to Messages seem to have been inspired from the very popular app, Snapchat. Just like after a Snap is taken, Apple Messages will let you doodle on your photo or video. There will be new animated backgrounds, such as fireworks or confetti. Is this Apple’s attempt to takeover Snapchat? Obviously they want users to stay in the Messages app, but it may be difficult to get iPhone users to stop posting to their Snapchat story. Lastly, to add more emotion behind your text, Messages will let you make your text grow or shrink, with added animations. Overall we are impressed with the new updates Apple will be releasing in the next update. Text messages already seem less personal than a phone call, but with the added drawing or animation, texts sent through Apple’s Messages might have a new level of emotion attached. We are interested in seeing what functionality third party developers add to Messages. It will probably clear out some of the apps on your iPhone and open up some much needed space. If you would like to watch the entire Apple WWDC16 Keynote Address, click here. The features highlighted in this article can be found starting at the 86 minute...

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Up, Up, and Away

Up, Up, and Away
Jan31

In 1967, the Fifth Dimension came out with a hit song “Up, Up, and Away.” Today, ballooning is still a very popular activity and the British Balloon and Airship Club (BBAC) is doing its part to promote hot air ballooning much in the same way as the Fifth Dimension did almost fifty years ago. How are they promoting it?  Not with another hit song, but with SMS alerts.  Four years ago, the BBAC realized that it needed a better way to communicate with its members so they decided to add SMS to its website and email marketing. Interestingly, it is not only a way to communicate with members during events, but also whilst the balloons are up in the air.  In the case of bad weather, the balloon pilots are urged to land via SMS. I wonder if the Fifth Dimension is part of this group? To learn more about this outstanding use of SMS, click here....

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Is Texting About Business a Good Idea?

While text message marketing isn’t new and more and more businesses are jumping on board, texting coworkers about business isn’t something many businesses have plans in place for. When determining whether or not your business needs a policy, or if you’ve discovered your business doesn’t have one, make sure you’ve covered your bases. You don’t want to damage your personal life or professional career. Here are 3 things to consider before you push send. Content Is what you’re sending going to the intended recipient? It’s easy to blur the names of professional and personal contacts when quickly scrolling through your address book. An inappropriate text sent to the wrong person could damage your personal or professional life, or both. Office gossip is something that happens regardless of where you work. Is the context of your text to a coworker suitable should another employee or your boss read it? Scan before you send. Just as with emails and IMs, texts can be saved and brought to the table at a later date. Make sure the content is something you’ll standby and accept responsibility for should someone ask you about it. Communication Business calls for clear and concise communications. Text messaging often leads to misinterpretations of meaning or tone. When you’re establishing a new working relationship with someone, you don’t want a miscommunication to take place that could hinder your ability to get promoted or close a deal. Asking your employer, employee, clients and vendors for their preferences when it comes to texting is one of the easiest ways to avoid a miscommunication. If someone is an avid texter, they may be more comfortable. If your client is more inexperienced, they may indicate they prefer other means of communication. If you’re unsure whether you’re on the right track when it comes to texting with coworkers or clients, just ask them. Conversation Is what you’re sending via text urgent? Is it something that needs to take place in person? While texting can be beneficial in sending out reminders or quick notes, consider whether or not the conversation taking place is one that needs to be done face-to-face. In business, building relationships is how you build loyal, lifetime customers. While texting a client may not seem like a big deal, you aren’t creating the same relationship you would as if you called them over the phone directly or sat down for an in-person meeting. With texting, it is important to consider the impact you’ll be leaving on someone. Sure, texting may be an effective, quick way to communicate, but it doesn’t eliminate the need for in-person interactions that business has been based off...

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Text 911

AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications, Sprint Nextel Corp and T-Mobile have agreed to provide text-to-911 services, with major deployments expected in 2013, according to a report from the FCC. The service should be available nationwide by May 15, 2014. Trials of the texting to 911 service are being conducted in Iowa and Vermont now. “Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century and today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said. One of the great things about this new service is that endangered people will be able to notify 911 without having to speak.  I can imagine that coming into play during a home invasion, for example.  Clearly, this service could save lives. It’s great that the FCC and the 911 service is realizing that today people communicate via text message.  The only problem is that while the Big Four have a large percentage (90%) of the market share in the USA, they don’t have 100%.  It’s time for the third tier carriers to step up and add emergency texting to 911 too. The carriers have committed to provide an automatic “bounce back” text message by June 30, 2013 if text-to-911 is unavailable in their area. The message would tell users to make a voice call to a 911 center until the program is rolled out.  Sorry guys, that’s a good start, but not...

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Infographic: Text Message Turns 20

The text message turned 20 years old on December 3, 2012 so it’s a major time of celebration here at the Text Message...

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Happy 20th Birthday Text Message

The text message turns 20 today and is no longer a teenager. It was 20 years ago today that Neil Papworth, a British engineer, sent the first text message. Papworth used his computer to wish a “Merry Christmas” to Richard Jarvis, of Vodafone. Papworth didn’t get a reply because there was no way to send a text from a phone in those days. Years later, Papworth was featured in a Super Bowl ad! The first text messages were free, but could only be sent between people with the same carriers. By February 2001 the UK was sending one billion texts a month, which at the standard 10p-a-text charge meant the business was raking in about £100m a month. We at the Text Message Blog have been around for so long that we actually celebrated the 15th birthday of the text message just five years ago. See you on the...

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