As if you needed another incentive to text your best friend, iPhone users now have the ability to add a creative personal touch to their messages using Digital Touch. What's more, it turns out that there are plenty of Digital Touch tricks on iOS 10 to experiment with. So, if you've been wondering exactly what you can do with this messaging technology, I have good news: The answer is, "a lot."
Digital Touch became available for the iPhone when iOS 10 was officially released on Sept. 13. (The announcement of the release date had previously been made at Apple's keynote presentation on Sept. 7.) This feature, which Apple Watch users have been able to take advantage of since 2015, lets you add notes to photos and videos, as well as send hand-drawn sketches, animations, single-tap replies, and heartbeats. What more could we ask for in a messaging app?
Once you download iOS 10, you can find the Digital Touch button by going to the Messages app, and clicking the icon that looks like a heart with two fingers. Your first reaction will probably be: OMG, this changes everything! It may take some time for you to get used to the new functions and for the element of surprise to wear off, but after that, the possibilities are endless. Go HAM with my top seven tricks for making the most out of Digital Touch:
1. Make Your Own Comic Strip
Now that you can draw on pictures and send sketches using Digital Touch, channel your inner Picasso and make a comic strip with your friends. You can draw on the same photo multiple times to create the illusion of a moving image or start a drawing from scratch. At the very least, it's a great way to kill some time if you're in line or in the waiting room!
2. Play Tic Tac Toe
Take a break from drawing your next masterpiece and play a game of tic tac toe with a friend. Using Digital Touch, draw the tic tac toe board with one finger and make your first move. Then, wait for your friend to re-draw the tic tac toe board and make the next move. Game on!
3. Develop A Secret Love Language With Your SO
Sometimes words just aren't enough. Up your flirting game with your romantic partner by giving animated kisses and heartbeats a new meaning. For instance, one kiss might mean, "I'm thinking about you" and two kisses, "I want you tonight." Send a heartbeat if you want to say "I love you," while a heartbreak could mean you're upset about something and want to talk it out. Getting a message across without actually typing out the words is a great way to spice things up.
4. Save Digital Touch Messages
Don't want to lose all of your hard work? Once you exchange messages with Digital Touch, gently press your finger over the kiss, heartbeat or sketch and click "Keep" (similar to the audio recordings in Messages). After that, they'll forever be in your texting conversation history.
5. Host A Photo Contest Using Only Fireballs
Whoever's idea it was to add "fireball" as an option to send in Digital Touch, thank you for adding some ~heat~ to our lives. If you and your friends aren't exactly the drawing type, have a photo contest instead. Like with sketches, you can create fireballs either on a black background or on top of a visual. So go ahead: Make your little sister look like she's breathing fire (she'll never know). Points go to whoever sends the most creatively enhanced photo in record time!
6. Film A Short Documentary
Not only can you add sketches, fireballs and everything in between to photos, but you can also include them in a video message. For instance, draw some curly strokes onto a clip of your brother skateboarding down the street to create the effect of him whooshing by. If you're feeling really ambitious, you and a friend can string a series of clips together, add a story line and practically make a mini movie together. Like I said, at this point, there's pretty much nothing you can't do with Digital Touch.
Images: Lucia Peters/Bustle (4) Giphy (2)