What phrases invoke screen effects in the Messages app?
Apple introduced full screen animations in the messages app with the release of iOS 10. iPhone users can send other iOS users nine different animations such as balloons, confetti and fireworks through the Messages app. These animations can be individually selected and attached to any text message, or automatically triggered by typing key phrases. Apple hasn't released an official list of what phrases invoke what screen effects, but they did demo the Happy Birthday feature at WWDC 2016. Typing the phrase "Happy Birthday" in the Messages app will trigger the balloons effect on devices running iOS 10 or later.
Here are some other key phrases and the effect they trigger. Please let us know if you found anymore in the comment section below this post.
- "Happy Birthday" - Balloons effect
- "Congratulations" - Confetti effect
- "Happy New Year" - Fireworks effect
- "Happy Chinese New Year" - Celebration effect
- "Pew pew" - Lasers effect
- "Happy Lunar New Year" - Celebration effect
What about other languages?
Other language variations of the above terms (e.g. "Selamat," "Felicitations," and "Feliz cumpleanos") also work. Experiment and enjoy.
Is there a way to send text effects without using the triggering keywords / phrases?Absolutely. You can send all of the iPhone and iPad text effects without using the keywords. For instructions on each, click on the effect: celebration, balloons/confetti, fireworks, laser.
What about other Messaging / iMessage effects and tricks?
There is a long list of tips and tricks to help you get more about of messaging and email on your iPhone and iPad. Check out all of our Message and Email tips and FAQs.
This iPhone trick bombards your friends with balloons and other cool effects — and it will change the way you text
- There are two types of animated effects you can send with an iMessage.
- Bubble effects alter the blue bubble in which your iMessage is sent.
- Full-screen effects take up your entire iPhone screen.
- Check out a step-by-step guide below.
Apple introduced animated Message effects in 2016, yet two years later, they're still one of my favorite, albeit silly, iPhone features.
Given how cluttered the Messages app is, it's no surprise if you still haven't figured how to send "invisible" messages or flood your friends' iPhone screens with a bunch of balloons.
And if none of this is ringing a bell, just keep reading to find out what Message effects are and how to send them.
First, open your Messages app. Press and hold the blue arrow that shows up when you draft an iMessage.
There are two types of Message effects you can send with an iMessage: bubble effects and full-screen effects. Bubble effects alter the blue bubble that your iMessage is sent in while full-screen effects take up your entire iPhone screen.
You'll see a screen pop up with four different "bubble" effects that you can send with your iMessage.
Slam: Makes your message "slam" down onto the screen, causing everything in your conversation to shake momentarily;
Loud: Sends your message in a bubble that expands and shakes before shrinking down to its normal size;
Gentle: Shrinks your message down to a tiny size before slowly reverting back to its normal size;
Invisible Ink: Covers messages with a blurry screen that you have to tap or swipe to reveal what's underneath.
To see the other type of animation you can send, tap the icon labeled "Screen" at the top of the screen.
Echo: Floods the screen with copies of your message which all swirl around for a few seconds;
Spotlight: Temporarily highlights your message with a spotlight and casts a shadow over the rest of the screen;
Balloons: Sends your message with a bunch of multicolored balloons;
Confetti: Sends your message with a burst of confetti that cascades down the screen (this effect also shows up automatically when you send a message that says, "Congratulations," or "Happy birthday");
Love: Sends your message with a giant red heart;
Lasers: Makes your message look like its shooting multicolored lasers across the screen;
Fireworks: Turns your screen dark and displays several multicolored fireworks (this effect also shows up automatically when you send a message that says, "Happy new year");
Shooting star: Turns your screen dark like the night sky and displays a single shooting star;
Celebration: Turns your screen dark and sends a burst of bright gold sparkles (this effect also shows up automatically when you send a message that says, "Happy Chinese New Year").
In case you missed it the first time, you can also tap "Replay" to see an effect again.
If you can't seem to receive any of these effects, check your iPhone's settings.
It's possible you may have disabled auto-play for Message effects. To check if this is the case, head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. If you have "Reduce Motion" enabled on your phone, then you'll also see a feature labeled "Auto-play Message." Tap the slider next to these words to start automatically playing Message effects on your iPhone.
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One of the coolest aesthetic features of iMessage is its animated message effects. If you're like many users, you might even have discovered them by accident, where wishing your friend a "Happy Birthday!" or congratulating them on a promotion unexpectedly flooded your screen with balloons or confetti.
Apple's iMessage effects first appeared in iOS 10 and still work perfectly in the most current iOS versions. While Apple has only formally mentioned a few of the code words and phrases that trigger these effects automatically, I've compiled a huge list of all the hidden triggers I could find through research and trial and error — with different languages included.
In iOS 14, Apple didn't add any more English trigger words and phrases to the current list of Easter eggs for iMessage effects. Still, it did add more words and phrases that work with "22 Indian languages," including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. That means that there are now over 230 hidden text strings to auto-play full-screen effects in your iMessage conversations!
Triggering iMessage Effects
To use these iMessage effects, you'll need to create a message with another iPhone user. Effects will still show animations on your end while texting your green-bubbled Android friends, but they won't be able to see it themselves. If you don't have a friend with an iPhone to test effects out on, you can try it by messaging yourself.
In a few cases, a simple trigger word or phrase will apply the screen effect automatically. While Apple hasn't included all of these in its official list, some Googling and trial and error confirms six of these, each with some variations.
Even better, these trigger words work in multiple languages. I've included a few variations in English, Arabic, Bengali, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, and Vietnamese. And there are some additional notes and tips for using these trigger words in whatever language you choose:
- I've only included words or phrases in lowercase letters for simplicity.
- But I've also included variations with and without diacritics (accents).
- I've included the translation for the effect next to each language name.
- All of the below should work when using some or all capital letters.
- All of the below should work when adding punctuation before or after.
- In Spanish, you can contain the word or phrase within ¡ ! marks (inverted and regular exclamation points) to add extra emphasis. For example, ¡feliz cumpleanos!
- I tested emojis as stand-ins, but they never triggered anything.
- Words and phrases with ||| after them have not been verified to work, but YMMV.
- English is listed first for each effect; other languages are listed alphabetically.
- Experiment with your language of choice to find alternatives.
I have not found any triggers in Bulgarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Serbian, or Slovenian.
The Balloons effect can be prompted by wishing someone a Happy Birthday. You've probably seen this one many times by now just by giving birthday wishes to your family and friends.
The Confetti effect appears when you congratulate someone or wish someone a Happy Holi (a Hindu spring festival in honor of Krishna). You could also trigger it with the code phrase Best Wishes.
The Fireworks effect can be triggered by wishing someone a Happy New Year or Happy Diwali (a Hindu festival of lights). However, in some regions, using a Happy New Year saying will trigger the Celebration effect (see the next section).
Similarly, the Celebration effect appears when you wish someone a Happy Chinese New Year or Happy Lunar New Year. In some regions, just wishing a Happy New Year will trigger Celebration instead of Fireworks (see the previous section).
Many of the above keywords and phrases are fairly obvious or at least likely to be discovered accidentally when wishing someone a Happy Birthday or Happy New Year. But there are other code words and phrases that hide better. One such code phrase is Pew Pew, which unlocks the Laser effect.
Unlike the other effects above, "pew pew" is the only code phrase that works for all languages. There are no translations of the onomatopoetic "pew pew" that will trigger anything, and that's not surprising. The phrase is a phonetic representation of laser guns and real guns (usually real guns with silencers).
6. Shooting Star
For some strange reason, Apple removed the Shooting Star effect starting in iOS 14, so if you're running iOS 14 or later on your iPhone, you won't see it in the normal effects menu. However, that doesn't mean you still can't use it — you just need to know the secret code phrase.
Sending someone Eid Mubarak will trigger the Shooting Star effect. The phrase is an Arabic term meaning "blessed festival" or "blessed feast" that Muslims worldwide use as a greeting for the festivals of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.
Manually Sending iMessage Effects
No term to prompt the effect you're looking for? That's OK — it's easy enough to use bubble or full-screen effects manually. When manually triggering the effect, your recipient will even be able to replay the effect just like they could when receiving a trigger word or phrase.
What's the difference between bubble effects and screen effects? Bubble effects affect the individual text bubble for that message. Screen effects, as the name suggests, affect the full screen when used. Note that, unlike bubble effects, screen effects have additional sounds and haptic responses. It's a great touch but one you want to be aware of if texting in a quiet room.
Additionally, while you can trigger some of the screen effects with a keyword or phrase, all bubble effects need to be sent manually — there are no codes that will work for them.
For both bubble and screen effects, you can manually launch them by long-pressing the send button (upward arrow). At the top of the "Send with effect" screen, you can toggle between bubble and screen. Here, you can send your message with the following bubble effects:
- Invisible ink
As for all of the available screen effects, there's:
- Echo (no known triggers)
- Spotlight (no known triggers)
- Balloons (see above triggers)
- Confetti (see above triggers)
- Love (no known triggers)
- Lasers (see above trigger)
- Fireworks (see above triggers)
- Shooting Star (iOS 14 removed it from the menu; see above trigger)
- Celebration (see above triggers)
Apple's iMessage effects are a great way to add a little fun to your message and trigger words make it super easy to use some of the most popular animations. Perhaps there will be more of these trigger words and phrases in a future iOS update, but for now, we'll be sending all of our iPhone-having friends a festive effect whenever there's something to celebrate.
- There are currently 40 languages listed above that can use at least one codeword or code phrase to trigger iMessage full-screen effects.
- There are currently 51 different ways listed above to type out "happy birthday" in various languages to trigger the Balloons full-screen effect.
- There are currently 66 different ways listed above to type out in various languages what's needed to trigger the Confetti full-screen effect.
- There are currently 63 different ways listed above to type out in various languages what's needed to trigger the Fireworks full-screen effect.
- There are currently 50 different ways listed above to type out in various languages what's needed to trigger the Celebration full-screen effect.
- There is currently only one trigger for the Lasers full-screen effect.
- There is currently only one trigger for the Shooting Star full-screen effect.
- There are zero triggers known for the Echo and Spotlight full-screen effects.
- There are 232 triggers listed above.
Don't Miss: Memoji Stickers, Improved Search & More New Apple Messages Features in iOS 13 for iPhone
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Send animated effects in Messages on iPhone
Use your finger to write a message. The recipient sees the message animate, just as ink flows on paper.
In a conversation, rotate iPhone to landscape orientation.
Tap on the keyboard.
Write a message with your finger or choose a saved message at the bottom, then tap Done.
Tap to send your message or to cancel.
After you create and send a handwritten message, the message is saved at the bottom of the handwriting screen. To use the saved messages again, tap it. To delete the saved message, touch and hold it until the messages jiggle, then tap .
Animated text words iphone
How to Add Cool Animated Effects to Your iMessages
By Keyede Erinfolami
It's easy to add flair to your texts with cool effects in iMessage. We'll show you all the ways you can use them.
Using iMessage on your iPhone lets you do a lot more than just send texts. Some of the coolest features of iMessage are the animated effects that make texting more fun. You may have stumbled across these effects when wishing a friend a happy birthday, for example, only to see your screen fill up with colorful balloons.
iMessage has many more of these effects in stock. And in this article, we’ll show you how to unlock their colorful potential.
About iMessage Effects
You can't add effects to every message you send from the Messages app, only the iMessages. These are the blue messages you can send to other people using Apple devices. Green messages are standard SMS texts, which you can't add effects to.
There are two ways to go about adding effects to an iMessage. The first method is to manually choose your effect and the second method is to let your iPhone suggest effects based on keywords or phrases you used.
Related: Cool Things You Can Do With iMessage Apps
How to Manually Add Effects to Your iMessages
To manually add cool effects to your iMessage, open the Messages app and type your text. Then, long-press on the blue arrow that you usually use to send a message.
You’ll see a screen pop up with two categories of effects that you can choose from: Bubble and Screen effects. Bubble effects only affect the blue text bubble while the Screen effects take up the whole screen.
Under Bubble, you can choose from:
- Slam: Makes your text slam onto the screen, creating a 3D effect that shakes all the elements on the screen for a few seconds.
- Loud: Makes the text bubble ripple and expand before returning to its normal size.
- Gentle: A subtle effect that makes your message shrink to a smaller size momentarily, before reverting back to its normal size.
- Invisible Ink: Covers the message in the text bubble with a grainy blur. You need to tap or swipe across the message to reveal it.
Under Screen, you can choose from:
- Echo: Floods the screen with duplicates of your message swirling around for a few seconds.
- Spotlight: Highlights the message with a temporary spotlight and darkens the rest of the screen.
- Balloons: Sends your message with a bunch of multicolored balloons.
- Confetti: Sends your message with a burst of confetti that descends upon your screen.
- Love: Adds a big, red, blow-up heart with your message written on it.
- Lasers: Creates the effect that your message is shooting colorful lasers across the screen while playing a funky beat.
- Fireworks: Makes your screen dark for a few seconds to display colorful fireworks accompanied by vibrations.
- Celebration: This also turns your screen dark to display a cascade of gold sparkles.
Swipe right to view a preview of each effect. Tap the blue Send arrow when you decide which one to use, or tap the grey X to exit the Effect menu.
Effects will only play once, but you should see a Replay icon under an animated message, which you can tap to watch the effect play again.
How to Use Keywords to Trigger iMessage Effects
The Messages app automatically adds some of these effects to your iMessages when you type and send certain words. This is definitely an easier way to make texting more fun, especially since it has an element of spontaneity to it.
Here are some common keywords and the effects they trigger:
- Happy Birthday: Triggers the Balloons effect.
- Congratulations: Triggers the Confetti effect.
- Happy New Year: Triggers the Fireworks effect. (In some regions, variations like "Happy Chinese New Year" or "Happy Lunar New Year" trigger the Celebration effect instead.)
- Pew Pew: Triggers the Lasers effect.
Another great thing is that these trigger words work in multiple languages, including English, Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean,Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, and Urdu.
When you type any of the above phrases in that language, you’ll get a cool effect in response.
iMessage Effects Not Working on Your iPhone?
If your iPhone isn't playing these animated effects for your iMessages, it may be because you've disabled auto-play for message effects.
Related: How to Fix "iMessage Not Delivered" on Your iPhone
To change that, open Settings, then tap Accessibility and turn on the Auto-Play Message Effects slider.
Do More With iMessages
The cool thing with iMessage animated effects is that you can add them to any iMessage text content: emoji, Memoji, GIFs, images, handwritten messages—you name it. As long as it can be sent in an iMessage, you can jazz it up with an effect.
Stay on top of your game with these nifty tips for the iMessage group chats with your buddies over the iPhone.
Read NextAbout The Author
Keyede Erinfolami is a professional freelance writer that is passionate about discovering new technology that can improve productivity in daily life and work. She shares her knowledge on freelancing and productivity on her blog, along with hot takes on Afrobeats and Pop Culture. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Scrabble, or finding the best angles to take nature pictures.
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Use message effects with iMessage on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Make your Messages even more expressive with Memoji sticker effects, bubble effects, full-screen animations, camera effects, and more.
You need iMessage — an Apple feature — to send message effects. Learn the difference between iMessage and SMS/MMS texts. Depending on your carrier, messaging rates might apply when you send SMS/MMS. If you use iMessage and Wi-Fi is unavailable, cellular data rates might apply.
Send a message with effects
With message effects, you can use bubble effects to change the way your message bubbles look, or use full-screen effects to animate the screen. You can even add a Memoji sticker with bubble effects or full-screen effects.
Add a full-screen effect
- Open Messages and tap the Compose button to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
- Enter your message.
- Touch and hold the Send button , then tap Screen.
- Swipe to the left to see full-screen effects.
- Tap the Send button .
To replay a message effect that you receive, tap the Replay button under the message. If you can't receive full-screen effects, check your Reduce Motion settings.
Send a message with Camera Effects
With Camera Effects, you can liven up your conversations even more. Quickly create and share a photo or video with Memoji, filters, text, fun stickers, and more. Follow these steps:
- Open Messages and tap the Compose button to create a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
- Tap the Camera button .
- Tap the Effects button , then select one of the effects, like Memoji* or an iMessage app. You can add more than one effect to a photo or video.
- After you select the effect that you want to use, tap Done.
- Tap the Send button or tap Done to add a personal message. If you don't want to send the photo, tap the icon in the upper-right corner of the photo.
You need a compatible iPhone or iPad to use Memoji.
Respond to a message with expressions
With Tapback, you can quickly reply to messages with expressions, like a thumbs up or a heart. Here's how:
- Open a conversation in Messages.
- Double-tap the message bubble or photo that you want to respond to.
- Select the Tapback that you want to send.
You can also use Tapback in group messages. To see who replied with a Tapback, tap it.
Send a handwritten message
You can personalize your messages by adding a note in your own handwriting. Your friends and family will see the message animate, as if it were being written in front of them. To send a handwritten note, follow these steps:
- Open Messages and tap the Compose button to start a new message. Or go to an existing conversation.
- If you have an iPhone, turn it sideways and tap on the keyboard. On an iPad, there's no need to turn it sideways, just tap on the keyboard.
- Write your message or select one of the options at the bottom of the screen.
- If you need to start over, tap Undo or Clear. When you're finished, tap Done. Then tap the Send button .
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A guide to the words and phrases that cause special texting effects on your iPhone
- Certain words and phrases can cause special effects in your iPhone's Messages app, which can add a fun flair to your texts.
- The words that cause these effects are usually related to holidays or congratulations.
- These effects will activate on your end whether you're texting another iPhone user or an Android user, but your recipient will need an iPhone to see them.
- Visit Business Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.
Your iPhone's Messages app isn't just for sending texts. You can also send photos, videos, and a wide variety of special effects.
While you can pick and choose from some of these effects by holding your finger down on the send button, other effects only activate when you send certain words or phrases.
Apple doesn't advertise these effects — they're hidden "Easter Eggs" on your iPhone instead.
A full guide to iMessage effects
Here's a guide to the words and phrases that will cause effects in the Messages app, and hopefully delight both you and your recipient.
"Happy New Year"
When you send a "Happy New Year" message, your text will be accompanied by its own fireworks show.
"Happy Chinese New Year"
This effect is particularly cool, and comes packaged with its own firecracker-esque vibration pattern when you send it.
Text "Happy Birthday" to summon a flood of colorful balloons. Shortened versions, like "HBD," won't trigger the effect.
"Congrats" or "Congratulations"
When you congratulate someone, confetti will rain down from the top of your screen. You can also try sending congratulations in different languages, such as the Spanish "Felicitaciones" or Indonesian "Selamat" — these often work as well.
You need no occasion to send a friend laser beams, so why not try "pew pew" in your next text?