A Guide to iMessage Apps for iOS

Last modified
Wednesday, July 17, 2019


iMessage apps are a great way to express your emotions, play games, or even send videos or pictures. Some even allow you to send GIF's, Memes and other assortments of stickers.

What are iMessage Apps

iMessage apps are apps that are primarily for iMessage. iMessage apps can come in two forms.

  • Regular apps: An app will appear on your home screen, but the app could contain an iMessage app extension, such as YouTube for instance.
  • iMessage only: Apps that do not appear on your home screen, because it's only the iMessage app itself, hence the title.

Installing iMessage Apps

If you know how to install an app from the App Store, then the iMessage app installation uses the same process. Simply download the app from the App Store like you would a regular app.

However, do take note that like regular apps, not all iMessage apps are guaranteed to be accessible, especially graphical packs like stickers or GIF's.

To view an extensive list of iMessage apps in a story by Apple, open this page .

Using iMessage Apps

To use an iMessage app, you must make sure you have a conversation open. This is done by doing the following:

  1. Select the Messages app from your home screen.
  2. Select any conversation to bring up the conversation view.
  3. To the left of the text field, there is a button that hides or shows a window below the conversation. Make sure it is set to visible, then navigate downward. You should start hearing several apps being listed out, and if it's "New" it will say so.
  4. Double-tap on an app to open its card. App cards are smaller versions of the app that appear below the window. As you would imagine, this would be very cluttery, so if needed, navigate down to the app card, where it is collapsed, and like the icon before the message text field, expand it so that it hides everything else.

Managing apps on the iMessage home screen

Sometimes it may be useful to add or remove apps from the iMessage home screen, or the window below your conversation. To manage your apps, select the More button, the last item in the window. When it opens, you can manage all your apps here.

The favorites section holds some of the default apps, like Digital Touch, Apple Pay and Music, with some others listed as well. Your favorites always appear above your other apps. This means if you want to add apps to your favorites, you can use the edit button. This also allows you to reorder apps that are already in your favorites.

The More Apps section of this More window includes all the other apps listed on your iMessage home screen. Selecting the insert button on any app will add it to your favorites. You can also swipe down and double tap to delete the app.

If you would rather not delete or insert the app, you can also just switch the app off entirely by double-tapping on the app, until it announces "off." This removes clutter from your home screen and allows you to sort out the apps you need and don't need. Note that this does not affect apps that have content besides iMessage apps, like Pandora, or YouTube. The regular app will still function the same, but you won't be able to use it from the iMessage home screen until you switch the app on again.

App Attachments

If you complete an action in a game or select something from an app, it generates an attachment called an app attachment. App attachments contain information saying, for instance, in a game it could be your opponent's turn. Or, it could be the other way around, receiving an attachment contains information that it's your turn to play. In terms of apps however, the information being generated is quite the same. When you send a picture, they receive it as such. Same applies to attaching a document or video, or even audio files. The app I'll be using in this guide to demonstrate is YouTube. We'll be attaching a video (app attachment) and as an example, sending it to Scott Davert from AppleVis.

Attaching Apps

  1. Open the iMessage home screen; Messages>random_conversation>messages apps, visible, this must say visible for the window to appear.
  2. Navigate down to the YouTube app and select it to reveal a window below the home screen. Also, for less clutter (optional) expand the app card.
  3. You can either pick from your recently watched list, or double-tap search. I'll be searching for a video in this example.
  4. Search "timecrest podcast" and hit Search. Note that the voice search option is available here, so you can speak to Google and she will input your text for you, or you can use Apple's Dictation function at the bottom of the keyboard, or with a magic tap (double-tap with two fingers).
  5. Once you're done searching, a results heading will appear below the search bar. What you are looking for (depending on state, mine is U.S.) is AppleVis Extra. If you can't find this, find a video of your choosing so you at least know what to do.
  6. Double-tap on the video to attach it to your message, or if you would like to confirm it's the video you want before sending, swipe down on the video to set Actions to play, then double-tap. A player similar to the default YouTube app's video player will show up. If you are satisfied, you don't even have to go back and find the video in the results again. Just find the Send button prior to the video player and it'll attach the app as if you double-tapped on the video without listening first.
  7. Finally, hit the 'Send' button in Messages, or if you made a mistake, select the Remove app attachment button and repeat the above steps.

A List of Accessible iMessage Apps

This will generally be updated if I do find any apps, but for now, here's the list I've found useful so far.

To copy the app name to the clipboard, quadruple tap (tap 4 times) with three fingers.








More will be listed as I find them. If you guys have any apps you think are accessible have an iMessage extension, comment below, and I'll add them.


iMessage apps can be used to share things. Whether to express feelings, play a game, or send a funny video or picture, it's all up to you with iMessage apps.

If you have any questions concerning this guide, don't be afraid to shoot me an e-mail (I'm more responsive that way) or you can comment below and I should be able to reply in a maximum of 48 hours.

Have a great day, and thanks for taking the time to read this through.


The article on this page has generously been submitted by a member of the AppleVis community. As AppleVis is a community-powered website, we make no guarantee, either express or implied, of the accuracy or completeness of the information.



Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, June 27, 2019

Josh, thanks for this wonderful guide. I've seen some of these mentioned in the messaging app on my phone, but am still a bit confused by all this. I got my iPhone last year and love it, but I really need to play around with this stuff some more in order to understand some of the more complex things the iPhone can do. But as of late my free time has been limited due to other things going on.

Submitted by tunmi13 on Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hello Ekaj,
I'm glad you enjoyed my guide. The iPhone is packed with lots of features. You cannot necessarily I'm your iPhone internally, so it's always good to experiment with it.
If you need help, shoot me an e-mail. Also, don't forget to check the AppleVis home page for assistance with your iPhoneen