How To Use Bubble Effects In iOS 10

by Emma Cueto

Ready or not, Apple iOS 10 is coming on Sept. 13 — and with it, the new Bubble Effects in the Messages app. So how do you use Bubble Effects in iOS 10? It looks like it's going to be a breeze.

Bubble Effects are a new option you can use when sending text messages that will affect how the message is delivered. Some Bubble Effects will impact the size of the text message; others will cause your screen to ripple or blur when they arrive. So it's basically a way to customize how your friends receive your texts, and there are a lot of potentially awesome and creative ways to use them.

But although choosing exactly when to employ Bubble Effects is doubtless going to be a creative process that gives us as many existential nightmares as picking the perfect emoji, or deciding whether to include punctuation, or any of the other million ways we try to convey what we mean in text format, the process of actually using a Bubble Effect is easy.

In order to use Bubble Effects on iOS 10, you simply type out your message the way you normally would — but then, instead of tapping on the "send" button (which on iOS 10 looks like an arrow pointing upwards), you hold down on the "send" button. Then, once the menu opens, select the "Bubble" tab at the top, which will show you your options. Pick the one you want, and then hit the "send" button that shows up next to your selection.

So what are your options here?

Apple has announced four Bubble Effects (though they could in theory surprise us with more): Slam, Loud, Gentle, and Invisible Ink. Slam will stamp your message bubble down and cause the screen to ripple; Loud will send a huge bubble that shakes when it first arrives; Gentle sends a small message bubble that slips in, well, gently; and Invisible Ink sends a message that is initially covered by a blur that the recipient must swipe across to remove.

And, yes, that last one might just seem annoying when you first hear about it — until you realize it can be used for photos and texts that you'd rather not be visible to just anyone. So actually, how have we had to wait so long for this?

Bubble Effects arrive on Sept. 13. Get excited.