Finding Your Friends On Your iPhone Just Got SO Much Easier

While you've been able to share your location in iMessage for awhile, the Sept. 12 release of the much anticipated iOS 11 on Sept. 19 makes it even easier. An iOS 11 update for App Drawer, lets you share your location, and more, straight from iMessage. Currently you can share your location from the Apple Maps App, or by selecting the circled "i" at the top right corner of your screen while messaging a particular contact. The updated iMessage App Drawer allows you to access not only maps apps, but lots of other apps right from iMessage. And, you can customize iMessage App Drawer so the apps you use most are right at your finger tips.

Being able to do more on the same screen sounds pretty great, and it seems like a lot of the new iOS features are about making things easier. Because, your scrolling finger deserves a break. Scrolling finger is a real thing. My roommate has been suffering from scrolling finger for a few days from constantly scrolling through dog photos on Instagram. Maybe they can just start showing us the dogs since Instagram already seems to know everything about us. But, I digress. Back to the iMessage App Drawer.

"There’s no fundamental change [to] the iMessage apps themselves," Khamosh Pathak reported for iPhone Hacks. "The way we interact with them is completely new and simplified." Here's what you need to know about iMessage App Drawer.

Share Your Location Via iMessage App Drawer


So, pre iOS 11 if you wanted to do anything in iMessage that involved another app you had to leave iMessage, get the data from the other app and then go back into iMessage and paste it if the app wasn't under your frequently used apps. While it's true that you could still send your location, this iMessage App Drawer update makes that even easier. And, it allows you to access other apps right from iMessage, kind of the like the toolbar on your MacBook.

"When you get to a conversation, you’ll see a new ticker at the bottom with icons for iMessage apps," Pathak explained. "You can swipe horizontally on the app ticker. When you do that, the ticker expands to show a bigger app icon and the label, which is the app’s name. Tap on an icon to open the iMessage app in the keyboard view. You can now use the app just like before. Swipe left/right to cycle between the app or use the ticker to switch to another app."

So, if you want to share your location in iMessage, instead of doing it the old-school way, you can simply select a maps app from your iMessage App Drawer and send your location, which sounds pretty genius.

Personally, I am constantly sharing things from other apps in iMessage. And, the ability to get this all in a customizable toolbar right in iMessage saves a ton of time. Instead of having to leave iMessage, go into the a folder, then open the app I want, it can now all happen right in iMessage where I spend most of my iPhone time. Kudos to Apple for meeting people where they live.

Customize Your iMessage App Drawer

So, App Drawer is not new, but frankly I've never heard of it. Apparently it was kind of a dud when it launched with iOS 10, so the iOS 11 update is making it much easier and way more intuitive. A drawer is where you put things you don't want to look at, and previously you had to select the app icon to open the drawer, which was not customizable. Perhaps this is why I never used it before.

The iOS 11 update gets your apps out of the drawer and into a toolbar at the bottom of your screen while you're in iMessage. This way you can interact with them in one easy tap. But, the best part of the iMessage App Drawer update is that you can now customize this feature.

"For instance, if you don't want to keep recent button or find it odd, you can easily remove it from the menu," Geeks Blog reported. "And if you wish to rearrange the icons to get along with your flow, there is a way to get it done as well."

Geeks Blog can walk you through how to customize your iMessage App Drawer in iOS 11 step-by-step, and it's super easy, but I'll give you the edited version below.

The Quick & Dirty On iOS 11 App Drawer

For example, in any conversation in iMessage you can simply scroll through your App Drawer menu, and tap on the "more" button to put more apps in your drawer.

Then you can easily rearrange them so the apps you use most are at the front of the drawer. For example, in a kitchen junk drawer you probably use something like scissors the most and shove the less often used screwdriver to the back.

In the iMessage App Drawer, if you're constantly sharing your location with friends, you'll want your maps apps front and center, and maybe you don't need that poop tracking app in the drawer at all. But, hey, if you like sharing that stuff, no judgment here. It's all about choices, which is what makes the iOS 11 update so great.