iOS 17: 10+ New Features in the Messages App

iOS 17: 10+ New Features in the Messages App

In iOS 17, Apple made some changes to the Messages app. It now has a new look, updated stickers, and important new safety features that make people who travel alone feel safer.

This guide highlights all of the features that Apple is adding to Messages in ‌iOS 17‌.


Design Updates

Apple changed the way Messages looks to make it less cluttered. All of Messages' apps and tools can be found under the "+" button on the left side of the write window. When you tap on it, a drop-down menu appears with loaded apps like Camera, Photos, Stickers, Cash, Audio, Location, Store, and Messages.

If you tap on one of the choices, it will open the function that goes with it. In iOS 17, you will tap the "+" button and then the "Photos" choice to get to your Camera Roll. In iOS 16, you would have tapped on the little photos icon to add a photo.

Apple added a camera icon and an App Store icon to iOS 16 that could be tapped to show more choices. There used to be a cleaner horizontal layout for the top of the keyboard, where apps could grow. The new vertical layout is a big change. With the bigger icons and text descriptions, the style is much simpler, and it's easier to tell what things are.

Check In

Check In lets someone keep an eye on your progress while you're moving for safety reasons. You can tell a family member or friend where you're going, and they'll be told automatically when you get there.

You need to be in a conversation with someone you trust, tap the "+" button, and then pick the "Check In" choice. After that, you can type in where you're going and what time you plan to get there.

The person on the other end will know where you're going and when you should arrive. Messages will check in with you to see what's going on if you stop making progress on your way. If you don't respond, your battery level, full position, and cellular status will be sent to the person you chose.


You can choose how much information you share. Full shares all of that plus the route traveled, the last place the iPhone was unlocked, and the last place the Apple Watch was taken off. Limited only shares location, network connection, and battery level.

Your friend or family member will be told that you got to your destination safely when you get there, and the Check In process will be complete.



There have been stickers in the Messages app for a long time, but not many people have used them. With iOS 17, Apple is changing that so that all emoji are now considered stickers, along with real stickers.

With the new update, emoji now work like stickers. You can add them to a chat, but you can also drag them anywhere on a message and stack them on top of each other to make cute emoji scenes. The emoji keyboard is easy to use. Just open it, pick out an emoji, and drag it to the text you want to emphasize.

You can see stickers from apps you've gotten, stickers you've made, emoji, and Memoji all in one place in the Messages app's Stickers library.

Creating Stickers

In iOS 16, Apple added a feature called "Remove Subject From Background." In iOS 17, you can use this feature to make your own stickers and save them. To get to the "Add Sticker" choice, pick any of your photos and press and hold on the subject for a while.


That sticker will be added to your collection right away, and if it's a Live Photo, it will move.

You can add a white outline, comic-style coloring, a puffy 3D look, and a shiny, holographic finish to your digital stickers to make them look more like real stickers. The sticker effects will move and reflect light in the right way, making the stickers you made yourself look like they were properly made.

Sticker Reactions

Since emoji can be put anywhere on an iMessage, you can use them instead of tapback replies. Instead of long pressing to go back, just drag the emoji to the message you want to reply to.

Sticker Expansion

Now you can use stickers anywhere you can use emoji, like in third-party apps, pictures, emails, and most other places. You can do more with your stickers after making them from pictures than just send them through Messages.


Apple made some changes to the Memoji stickers that were already there. They now have halo, grin, and peekaboo stickers.


iOS 17 gives you a catch-up arrow if you fall behind in a Messages conversation with a friend or a group of people. It will take you to the first message in a chat you haven't seen yet if you tap it.

Swipe to Reply

Just swipe from left to right to bring up the reply screen when you want to answer a specific message in a chat. Because you don't have to long press and tap the return button, this is a much faster way to answer someone directly.

Search Improvements

In iOS 17, Apple added a way to mix multiple filters to the Messages search, making it better. You can type in "photos" and then the person's name, for example, to find pictures of that person. You can then tap on each search filter to narrow down your results. 

Audio Message Transcriptions

If someone gives you an audio message and you can't listen to it right away, iOS 17 will read it to you instead.

Auto-Delete Verification Codes

To make sure you are who you say you are, many websites and services send you a one-time password by text message. These codes can make the Messages app slow down. You can set iOS 17 to delete those texts automatically after the code is sent and used for login. When you use autofill after updating to iOS 17, Apple should ask you if you want to turn this on. You can also turn it on by hand by going to Settings > Passwords > Password Options > Clean Up Automatically.

Location Sharing

Within the Messages app, you can share your location or ask a friend to share theirs by using the "Location" setting. Another option is to set a pin at the exact spot you want to go to without starting the Maps app.



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