Humans have been finding ways to spice up written communication since the dawn of time — and now, deep into the digital age, we have Bubble Effects. If you’ve been curious about what all the Bubble Effects in iOS 10 are, the options are somewhat limited; however, I would argue that within those limitations, we still have an almost infinite array of choices at our fingertips. The best part about Bubble Effects is how well they lend themselves to creative uses.
Bubble Effects were first teased at the Worldwide Developer Conference in June; now, though, after Apple’s Keynote event on Wednesday, we know that they’re scheduled to arrive with iOS 10 on Sept. 13. A new feature for Messages, Apple’s text messaging app, they let users change how their messages look visually, allowing for a greater range of expression beyond simply using punctuation or emoji.
To access the Bubble Effects, first type the message you want to send, then press and hold the “send” button. Note that the whole pressing and holding thing is important; if you don’t do that, and instead just tap the “send” button, your message will just go ahead and send as is. Pressing and holding the button, however, brings you to the “Send with effect” screen. Once you’re there, select the Bubble Effect you want to use, then hit the “send” button immediately next to it.
There are four Bubble Effects available in iOS 10. Here’s what they each do — and when you might consider using them. The more creative you can get, the better!
The Slam effect literally causes your text to slam down on the recipient’s screen, causing everything else on the screen to quake from the aftershock.
When to use it: During moments of high emotion. I like to think of it as a digital high five, but I suppose it could also be used to express extreme incredulity — imagine the word “WHAT?!?!” slamming down on your screen and you get what I mean.
Sending a Loud message inflates the text bubble for a moment before shrinking it back down to its normal size.
When to use it: Anytime you might raise your voice. In some ways, it’s sort of like a milder Slam.
Gentle might best be described as the opposite of Loud: Instead of inflating the text bubble, it temporarily shrinks the words inside it to something much smaller than their usual size. After a moment, it turns to the standard iMessage size.
When to use it: Anytime you might whisper. Or possibly when you’re feeling sheepish.
4. Invisible Ink
By far the coolest Bubble Effect (or at least, the coolest by my estimation), “invisible ink” obscures your message in tiny little dots; swiping over the dots reveals what’s hidden beneath.
When to use it: Whenever you’re sharing a secret. Or maybe a surprise. Or maybe a sext.
iOS 10 has been in public beta since July of 2016; it’s scheduled to drop in its final form on Sept. 13.