This Hidden iOS 17 Feature Makes It Easier to Send Photos and Videos via Text Message

Here's a handy, little-known iPhone trick you'll use every day.

Nelson Aguilar
Nelson Aguilar is an LA-based tech how-to writer and graduate of UCLA. With more than a decade of experience, he covers Apple and Google and writes on iPhone and Android features, privacy and security settings and more.
Nelson Aguilar
2 min read
Finger pressed against a phone

The new hidden feature is in the Messages application.

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If you've updated to iOS 17, you may have noticed that all the app icons that are usually above your keyboard in the Messages app are now gone. Instead, your apps are accessible via the new plus (+) button to the left of the text field. Meaning you'll need to tap at least twice to access the same apps as before.

However, there's a hidden feature in iOS 17 that lets you quickly access one of these applications -- with a single press.

In this guide, we'll show you how to speedily get at your most recent photos and videos in your camera roll to quickly send them via text messages on iOS 17.

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

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If you haven't yet updated, here's how to download and install iOS 17 on your iPhone. And if you aren't sure whether you can upgrade, check out this list of iPhone models that support iOS 17.

How to access your recent photos and videos in Messages with a single tap

This hidden feature is incredibly easy to access. To bring up your camera roll in a text message thread, simply press and hold down on the plus (+) button for about a second or so. You should then see your keyboard disappear, replaced by the most recent photos and videos in your camera roll.

Messages app on iOS 17

Press and hold down on the plus (+) button until your recent photos and videos appear.

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Unfortunately, there's no way to change which app opens when you press down on the plus button, so you'll need to tap it and browse through the list to access any other apps in Messages.

While you're here, check out our reviews of the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus and the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max.