One of the surprising overhauls in iOS 8 is Messages. Apple changed a lot of stuff and added some new features to Messages that make it much more pleasant to use. Here's everything you need to know.
Quick Reply to Incoming Messages
You can now quick reply to text messages when they appear so you don't have to go all the way to the Messages app. When you get a new notification as a banner, just swipe down to quick reply. If you get a new message as an Alert, you'll have an option to reply right there. You can do the same in Notification Center. Just swipe left to reply.
Share Your Location from Messages
Want someone to know where you are? Just tap "Details" in the message thread, then tap "Send my Current Location". This will send the recipient a link to Apple Maps with a pin at your current location.
If you want to share your location for longer, tap "Details" then select "Share My Location." Here, you can set a time limit to share your current location with the recipient. Note, with either of these options, there's no confirmation screen, so once you select the option you want, Messages will send the messages right away. To turn off "Share My Location", just head back into the "Details" screen and select "Turn Off Share My Location."
Share Multiple Photos at Once
You can now send multiple photos at once from the Messages app. Tap the camera icon and you're shown up to 20 recent pictures. From there, tap each picture you want to send.
Send Self-Destructing Video and Audio
iOS 8 now allows you to set expiration dates for video and audio that you send through Messages. This is handy if tend to send multimedia that doesn't need to be saved for any reason. To use this feature for video, just hold down the camera icon in Messages, then record your video. To send audio, just select the microphone icon. After 2 minutes, these will get deleted from both phones.
Here's the catch though: this isn't like Snapchat. Video and audio can be saved by the recipient by tapping the "Keep" button below the media. Likewise, if you send a message to someone not using iOS 8 (including the Messages app on OS X), the message isn't automatically deleted. The only real purpose of this is to prevent Messages from taking up too much space on your phone. Thankfully, there's a better solution for that tucked away in the settings.
Automatically Clear Message Threads
Messages take up a surprising amount of storage space on your phone. Thankfully, you can now control exactly how much. Head into Settings > Messages > Store Messages. Here, you can set how long messages stay on your phone, forever, 30 days, or a year.
View All Attachments from a Conversation Thread
If you want to take a look at every single attachment you've sent to a person, just tap the thread, then "Details." At the bottom of the screen, you'll see every single attachment you've sent or that was sent to you.
Name and Leave a Group Message Thread
Group messaging gets a couple really nice new features. First off, you can now name threads so you can tell what's going on. Just tap the group message thread, tap "Details," then swipe down on the screen to reveal a "Subject" section. Type the name of the thread and you're good to go.
You can also leave a message thread here. Just scroll to the bottom of the Details screen and select "Leave this Conversation".
Set Do Not Disturb for Specific Message Threads
If leaving a conversation entirely is too much, you can at least stop notifications. Just head into Details on any message thread and select "Do Not Disturb." You'll stop getting notifications from that person or group message.
Delete or Edit Multiple Conversation Threads at Once
You can now delete multiple conversations at once in Messages. In Messages, select the "Edit" option, then just tap the messages you want to delete.