Tapback Messages

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Your Tapback feature is working as designed. When there is a group made of iPhones and other phones then the tapback emotions will show both ways depending on which type of phone initiated it and who receives it. For example, a non-iPhone user posts a picture and an iPhone user tapbacks it with an emotion then that will yield an entire separate line. If an iPhone user posts a picture and an iPhone user tapbacks it then all iPhone users will see the proper tapback emotion right on the message.

Axel F.

Tapback is a smart response that allows you to express your thoughts or feeling about a message. For instance, if you think that a message is quite funny, you have the option to react with a funny expression. Would you like to get started with it on your Mac? Tapbacks show up as icons that you can add to a message you've received. Options include a thumbs up, a thumbs down, a heart, exclamation points, a question mark, and a the word 'haha.' I just restored my iPhone 11. During group text messaging members will use the Tapback feature to show emotions such as, ️ Or HaHa.etc. Previously when one would text back a Tapback, the bubble would show on the message. Now, when others Tapback at my message, I see the the repeated message without the bubble, but instead the word. MyMessage was the first app to showcase support for sending tapback messages and receiving digital touch and handwritten messages, which Rabil claimed to have acheieved by writing code that directly communicated with the iMessage service rather than using AppleScript and reading the database. Ensure your Apple device is up to date. If you're using a mobile device, you'll need iOS 10 at least, but.


Apr 22, 2020 9:14 PM

If you’re an iMessage power-user, you’ve probably shied away from using the Mac version of the Messages app, and we can’t say we’d blame you. For years, it’s been an anemic cousin to the much more feature-rich version found on iOS and iPadOS, so needless to say, we were thrilled when we first heard news last year that Apple was going to bring it up to par, and with Big Sur it has done exactly that.

So go ahead and open that Messages app on your Mac. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what it can do now. Just about everything is here from balloons and confetti effects to custom Memoji and as more evidence that it will no longer be left behind, even new iOS 14 Messages features like in-line replies and pinning chats at the top. Read on for 7 fun things you can now do in the macOS Big Sur Messages app.

Respond with Tapbacks and Replies

Tapbacks are one of the few features that the Mac Messages app did gain at the same time as its iOS counterpart, arriving in macOS 10.12 Sierra alongside iOS 10 back in 2016.

Just like before, in macOS Big Sur you can add a tapback to a previous message simply by clicking and holding your mouse pointer on the bubble and then selecting the icon you want to attach to the message.

To quickly add a tapback to the last message sent by another party, you can also press CMD+T on your keyboard and then press 1-6 to select the appropriate Tapback icon.

iOS 14 added threaded conversations in Messages, and these also work in Big Sur and are accessed in much the same way as tapbacks. A “Reply” option appears below a message bubble when you long-click on it, or you can select a bubble with a single click and use CMD+R to reply to it. In the event you change your mind, hitting ESC or clicking anywhere on the Messages window will cancel your reply.

If you have a MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar, you can also add a tapback simply by clicking on a message bubble to select it and then choosing the appropriate tapback response right from the Touch Bar. The new “Reply” option shows up in the Touch Bar as well.

Add Message Effects

It’s easy to miss the arrival of effects in the Big Sur Messages app, since there’s no “Send” button to bring them up by long-pressing. Instead, you simply click on the “Apps” button to the left of the text field, and you’ll see “Message Effects” as one of the options.

Just like on the iPhone and iPad, you’ll need to make sure you’ve entered some text before you can actually access the effects. This is a bit less obvious on the Mac than it is on iOS, since in that case, the “Send” button doesn’t appear until you’ve actually typed something into the message field.

Tapback Messages

Quickly Access Pinned Chats

Pinned chats have come to both iOS 14 and Big Sur, and in addition to letting you keep your favourite conversions prominently at the top of your message list, they also offer another particularly handy trick.

You can quickly switch between your pinned conversations by holding the CMD key and tapping a number. For example, CMD+1 will give you the first chat, CMD+2 the second, and so on, right up to CMD+9, which is fine because you can only have nine pinned chats anyway. This also works on the iPad if you’re using an external keyboard.

Create Memoji Stickers

Not only does the new Big Sur Messages app offer the ability to use Memoji Stickers, but you can even customize them right from your Mac, and it may even be easier and more fun to do on the larger screen.

  1. In Messages, click on the “Apps” icon to the left of the text entry field.
  2. Click on “Memoji Stickers”
  3. From the pop-up window showing your current Memoji Sticker collection, click on the ellipsis (three dots) button in the top-right corner.
  4. Choose “Edit” to edit your current Memoji Sticker, “Duplicate” to create a new one based on the current one, or “New Memoji” to begin creating a whole new sticker from scratch.

Note that your Memoji Stickers aren’t just confined to sending out directly as new messages — you can also drag and drop any sticker from the Memoji panel to slap it on top of an existing message, just like you can do on your iPhone or iPad.

Sadly, one thing that hasn’t come to the Mac yet is the iMessage App Store, which means you won’t be able to use any other types of stickers on your Mac, although third-party stickers sent from the iPhone will still show up just fine on your Mac. You can even click on the “Sticker by…” link to open an App Store preview page, but you won’t be able to download the stickers using Big Sur, even on an M1-equipped Mac. That said, it does give us some hope that Apple will be bringing stickers and other iMessage apps to the Mac soon.

Send Animated GIFs

Ios Tapback Messages

Another option you’ll see when clicking on the Apps button to the left of your text field is the same “#images” option found in the iPhone and iPad Messages apps, and it works in pretty much the same way.

Tapback Messages Android

You can scroll through and select from any of the GIFs that are displayed by default, or type something in the search box to narrow down your results to a specific theme. When you find one you like, just click on in to paste it into the message field and hit “Return” to send it on its way.

Find and Add Photos


In the absence of an iMessage App Store, the last option you’ll find on the “Apps’ menu is a “Photos” button that lets you quickly drop in a picture from the photo library on your Mac.

It’s not limited to just browning for recent photos, however; all the same search logic that you can use in the main Photos app is available from the search field at the top, meaning you can quickly narrow things down to people, places, or things, leveraging the powerful image recognition technology that Apple has built into the Photos app to help quickly find something.

Search Like a Pro

To say that the search features in the previous versions of the Mac Messages app were weak would be an understatement. They were so bad, in fact, that many users turned to third-party apps and solutions just to do something that Apple had conspicuously dropped the ball on.

What Is A Text Thread

Fortunately, Big Sur improves this in a big way. Everything in indexed properly, and searches are almost instantaneous, letting you drill through multiple conversations across your entire conversation history, which, thanks to Apple’s Messages in the Cloud feature, could basically go back across multiple generations of iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

Apple Messages Tapback

Clicking in the search box will also give you a quick summary of your most recent photos, locations, and documents across multiple conversations, and you can also search for any attachment by name, although messages hasn’t quite reached the point of offering content-aware search quite yet.