Apple has placed iMessage at the center of its promotional material for WWDC next week, hinting that the company’s popular messaging service could see substantial upgrades.
iMessage appears to be a central theme in this year’s WWDC marketing. For example, the placeholder for the WWDC live stream on YouTube, which is already live, features iMessage bubbles, Tapback, and the fullscreen laser effect of iMessage. Likewise, the Twitter hashflag to promote WWDC this year is an iMessage thumbs-up Tapback bubble.
IMessage stickers and official WWDC outfits and pins for this year also feature iMessage bubbles, Tapback reactions, and emojis, but that’s not necessarily uncommon for Apple’s annual conference-related outerwear. .
Reliable Bloomberg Journalist Mark Gurman previously reported that iOS 15 will bring improvements to iMessage, which appears to mirror the theme of Apple’s promotional material. Specifically, Gurman explained that there will be new options for automatic replies, statuses, and notifications:
There will also be an option to set automatic replies to messages based on their status. This will be an improvement over the current auto answer feature, which is currently only available while driving. Apple has added unique notification features like Do Not Disturb and Sleep Mode, but this will be the first time the company has offered a system-wide feature to change notifications based on a user’s status.
The company is also working on upgrades to iMessage with the eventual goal of acting more as a social network and better competing with Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp. These changes are still in the early stages of development and could come later, said. people.
The changes would be in line with a broader strategy to make iMessage more of a social network that can better compete with WhatsApp.
Last year, MacRumors found evidence that Apple was internally testing the ability to remove sent messages, entering flags in group chats, the ability to mark the last message in a conversation as unread after opening it, and an extension of the “/ me” command to share status updates, a feature available on Mac since iChat days. Apple has also patented a number of previously unseen features in iMessage, such as the ability to edit sent messages.
The extent of iMessage’s upgrades during this year’s WWDC is not yet clear, but given the wealth of evidence that iMessage has an important role to play in this year’s WWDC and a wave of rumors around new messaging features some sort of update seems to be very likely.
WWDC 2021 begins Monday, June 7 with a conference call at 10 a.m. PT. Apple is expected to unveil major new software updates, including iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 12, watchOS 8, and tvOS 15. See our WWDC 2021 summary for more information.