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Mobile

How to name a group conversation in Messages for iOS

This little-known feature can be a serious boon in keeping track of message threads.

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Apple

Apple's iOS 9 is chock-full of useful features, some of which you might easily overlook. A great example: conversation naming.

OK, maybe "great" is overstating it, but it sure is handy. When you start a group chat in the Messages app, it's not always easy to know at-a-glance just who's in that group. And if you have a lot of group threads going, it gets even more challenging.

Fortunately, iOS lets you assign a name to any group conversation, though it's not immediately obvious how. Here's the breakdown:

Step 1: Open Messages, then tap any existing group conversation.

Step 2: Tap the Details button in the upper-right corner.

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step 3: Swipe down just a bit until you see Group Name at the top of the screen. (Like I said: not immediately obvious.) Tap in that field, then enter whatever name you want to give your group ("family," "sales team," "soccer," etc.). You can use emoji as part of the name for easier at-a-glance identification.

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Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Then just tap Done. Now, when you look at your list of messages, you'll see your group name instead of an abbreviated line of individual names.

Now for the bad news: this works only if everyone in your group uses iMessage. If you're texting one or more, say, Android users, the Group Name option won't appear.