How do you add stickers, play games, and send cash while you chat? With apps in iMessage for iOS 10!

Apple has opened up iMessage to the App Store. That means, with iOS 10, designers can create sticker packs that you can post send, modify, and stamp on top of other messages. And developers can create apps that let you share content, edit photos, play games, send payments, and collaborate with others, right inside Messages. It's great for users, who get much richer functionality, and for developers, who get a chance to become as viral as the next hot meme. If you're on the developer preview or public beta and want to test them out, here's how!

How do I access apps in iMessage?

With iMessage apps, the apps are literally inside iMessage.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the Apps button. (Looks like the App Store icon.) If you've already begun typing, it'll be hidden and you'll need to tap on the Show More button to the left to reveal it. (Looks like >)

    Open Messages, tap Apps button

  3. Swipe to switch between different apps.

  4. Tap on a sticker or app action to send it.

    Swipe between apps, tap sticker or app

How do I go full screen to select?

If the bottom third of the screen isn't enough for you to get your browse on, you can take the stickers or actions full screen.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the Apps button. (Looks like the App Store icon.) If you've already begun typing, it'll be hidden and you'll need to tap on the Show More button to the left to reveal it. (Looks like >)
  3. Swipe to switch between different apps.

    Open Messages, tap Apps, Swipe

  4. Tap the Expand button at the bottom right.

  5. Tap on a sticker or action you want to use.
  6. Tap Send (looks like an upward arrow).

    Tap Expand, tap sticker or action, hit send

How do I browse all installed iMessage apps?

If swiping between iMessage apps isn't fast enough for you, you can browse them by icon.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the Apps button. (Looks like the App Store icon.) If you've already begun typing, it'll be hidden and you'll need to tap on the Show More button to the left to reveal it. (Looks like >)

    Open Messages, tap Apps

  3. Tap on the App Shelf button (looks like four ellipses in a grid).

  4. Tap on any sticker pack or app to access it.

    Tap App Shelf, choose your app or sticker pack

How do I get more iMessage apps?

The iMessage App Store is built right into iMessage as well.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the Apps button. (Looks like the App Store icon.) If you've already begun typing, it'll be hidden and you'll need to tap on the Show More button to the left to reveal it. (Looks like >)

    Open Messages, tap Apps

  3. Tap on the App Shelf button (looks like four ellipses in a grid).

  4. Tap on the App Store button at the top left (looks like a +) to access the iMessage App Store.

    Select App Shelf, tap Store

How do I get animated stickers?

Whether a sticker pack is animated or not is up to the designer who makes them. Apple lets designers choose between static stickers, made in image programs, or animated stickers, made in Apple's Motion app.

How do I put a sticker on top of another iMessage?

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While you can send stickers as messages, you can also slap stickers on top of existing messages.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the Apps button. (Looks like the App Store icon.) If you've already begun typing, it'll be hidden and you'll need to tap on the Show More button to the left to reveal it. (Looks like >)
  3. Swipe to switch to the sticker pack you want to use.

    Open Messages, go to Apps, swipe to find stickers

  4. Touch and hold on the sticker you want to use.

  5. Drag the sticker to the message bubble you want to slap it onto, and position it exactly where you want it.
  6. Let go.

    Choose sticker, drag to message, place sticker

How to I delete stickers you've placed on top of another iMessage

Whether you want to declutter your conversation, or you just pasted the wrong one, you can easily remove stickers that you've placed on top of messages.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Select the conversation where you'd like to delete stickers.
  3. Find the messages from which you would like to remove the sticker, then tap and hold the sticker.
  4. Tap Sticker Details.

    Open messages, choose sticker, tap Sticker Details

  5. Swipe to the left on the sticker you wish to delete.

  6. Tap Delete.

    Swipe to the left, tap delete

How do I collaborate on iMessage apps?

If developers choose to, they can make iMessage apps that let you modify existing messages. For example, adding scoops of ice cream to a cone, or adding your lunch choice to a food order.

  1. Launch Messages from your Home screen.
  2. Tap on the iMessage bubble you want to modify.
  3. Make any alteration or addition you want.
  4. Tap Send (looks like an upward arrow).

What happens if I'm sent an iMessage from an app I don't have installed?

iMessage apps are meant to spread virally, like memes. If you get sent something from an app you don't have installed, the name of that app will appear in small, subtle writing above the text entry field.

For stickers, you can touch and hold on a sticker you're not familiar with, choose Sticker Details, and get a list of each sticker in a message, who sent it, what app it came from, and a button to view the app.

Do iMessage apps work on Mac?

Yes, though it might depend on the app. Currently, the Apple Music app and Classic sticker packs in the beta show up fine on the Mac.