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What's new for Messages and FaceTime in iOS 12

Get ready to either have a lot of fun or get really annoyed.

Screenshot by Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

Apple's Messages app was the focus of several big updates over the past couple of years, but this year Messages is receiving just a minor update. FaceTime, however, is getting its biggest revamp yet with iOS 12.

As a reminder, iOS 12 is currently available in beta. It's likely that features will change and look different by the time it's released this fall. We will update this article as needed until then. 

Now Playing: Watch this: WWDC 2018: Best new iOS 12 features and more



Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Messages app in iOS 12 isn't receiving a ton of new features or changes. Instead, there are a few minor tweaks that should make messaging easier. There is a new app dock for iMessage apps, including a new Photos shortcut for quicker access to your photo library. The "i" button is also gone from the top-right corner of a conversation thread. To view a contact's info, tap on the picture at the top of the screen.


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The Camera app in Messages is getting a few new features. After launching the camera in a conversation, you can take photos or videos with filters, apply stickers or add drawings to spice up photos shared with a loved one. To use the new photo tools, tap on the button in the bottom-left corner of the camera app. 

There are also three new Animoji characters, while a new Memoji feature lets you create an Animoji that looks just like you. Check out how to create your own Memoji here.



Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

After waiting far too long, FaceTime is finally getting group video calls. That's right -- with iOS 12 you will be able to hold a FaceTime call including up to 32 people.

The redesigned FaceTime look will show thumbnails for everyone in what Apple calls "the Roster" along the bottom of the screen, and as someone begins to talk their video -- referred to as a Tile -- will move to the top of the screen. The size of the tile is determined by who is active on the call, with the Tile of the person talking slowly getting bigger the longer he or she talks.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Oh, and those fancy new camera effects Apple added to the Messages app -- you can use those in FaceTime as well.

iOS 12: Siri shortcuts, group FaceTime and "Memoji" -- Animoji of you.

WWDC 2018: Everything Apple just announced.