New in iOS 14: How to reply to a specific message in iMessage chats


Group conversation can quickly become quite chaotic. Even a small number of participants can generate a stream of messages that is difficult to track on your iPhone. The worst part is that you have to sort out conversations within conversations. Apple tried to help us with this problem, so in iOS 14 (a detailed overview of all new features) it was possible to reply to specific messages in iMessage using inline conversations.

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Together with the new feature of mentions in messages, inline replies allow you to create a separate mini-conversation in a larger group chat, making it easier to keep track of important texts in the context of your interest. Moreover, this feature is useful not only in group conversations, but also in private chats, when you want to talk about something specific, without jumping, as usual, from one topic to another.

If you’ve ever used built-in replies in WhatsApp, Telegram, Viber, or another third-party messaging app, you’ll find this feature close and understandable.

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How to reply to a specific message in an iMessage chat

While inside a private or group chat, simply press and hold any message that you want to start an embedded thread. Any element can be used for this, including text, emoticons, photos, videos, links and other types of media.

A text preview will appear where you can add a quick response, copy it and select one of the options using the button “Yet”… The quick action we need in this case is “To answer”so click on it.

How to reply to a specific message in iMessage chats

To be clear, this only works in iMessage conversations. So if you see blue elements, then you are doing everything right. If you see green icons, then you are in a text chat (SMS / MMS). Unfortunately, you cannot use the built-in threads here, even if you are answering someone using an iPhone in a group conversation.

After you click on the item “To answer”, the rest of the conversation will be blurry, except for the message you directly reply to. Enter the desired message (or messages) and click “Send”to start a new conversation within a group chat.

How to reply to a specific message in iMessage chats

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View and reply to an embedded conversation

In light mode, a white bubble with a gray outline will appear in chat, inside which will be the original text message. This will help you remember what the embedded conversation is referring to. When using dark mode, it will be a black bubble with a gray outline. In group chats, a small image of the contact will appear next to the bubble, while in private one-on-one conversations it will not, since it is obvious who your interlocutor is.

If you reply to the audio message, the bubble will be empty, which is a little confusing. But links, images, videos and other files will get their mini-previews.

All other messages in the chat will be, as before, in a single thread. If you only want to view your thread without the rest of the chat, tap inside the thread with a bubble on the blue “[#] answer“Or the original message that was used to create this thread.

How to reply to a specific message in iMessage chats

In a more focused view (with the rest of the chat blurry), you can press and hold on any message to respond to it, copy the text to the clipboard and save the media, and swipe to view the timestamps.

How to reply to a specific message in iMessage chats

Any messages sent that are not part of the thread will appear separately in the full conversation, without being linked to the created conversation. If the shared conversation continues, a new conversation bubble with the original message will appear after the shared messages. However, the previous bubbles of nested conversations will not disappear.

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