Like a lot of the standard apps on iOS 11, Messages has undergone a few changes. What do you need to know about Messages on iOS 11 and how do you use these features? Check out this short guide on the essentials and start using Messages iOS 11 right away.

Note: If you want to know more about iOS 11 upgrade tips, please refer to the complete guide on iOS 11 upgrade.

How Do You Sync Messages to iCloud on iOS 11?

Did you know that your messages don't have to be tied to a particular device anymore? That's right! You can sync your messages to iCloud and bring them up on any of your devices. Though this happens automatically, if you want to know how to manually sync your messages on iCloud in iOS 11, just follow these steps:

(1) On your device, go to Settings.

(2) Tap Messages.

(3) Look for where it says Messages on iCloud. Under that, you should see "Sync Now." Tap that and it should sync.

sync messages to iCloud

How to Use Apple Pay to Send Money to Others in Messages iOS 11?

With the new features on the Message app, you can now send people money using Apple Pay. This makes it really seamless and easy. If you've never even used Apple Pay before, here is a quick overview of how to get everything set up and started:

1 Set Up Apple Pay

Setting up your Apple Pay account is very easy. Just follow these steps:

(1) On your device, go to Settings.

(2) Tap where it says Wallet & Apple Pay.

(3) Tap Add Credit or Debit Card.

(4) Put in your credit or debit card information. You can either do this manually, or you can use your camera to input the information.

2 Send Money to People

From now on, the Apple Pay icon will show up at the bottom (on the iMessage drawer) whenever you use iMessage. To send money, you simply:

(1) Tap the Apple Pay icon while you're in a conversation.

(2) Input the amount that you want to send, either using the keypad or the + and 鈥 symbols.

(3) Tap Pay.

send money using Apple Pay in messages

3 Managing Your Money

Money you receive through Apple Pay is automatically turned into a digital Apple Pay Cash Card. From there, you can spend the money in person or online using Apple Pay, or you can send the money to other people. You can also transfer the money to your bank account if you need to.

How to Use the New App Picker on iOS 11 Messages?

Before, it was hard and took to many taps to get to the iMessage apps that you needed. Now with iOS 11, it's easier than ever to use the iMessage apps. Here is what you do:

(1) When you open a conversation, you will see the app dock below.

(2) You can long press on the dock to make it bigger (more visible), or you can scroll to the left to look through all the apps.

(3) Tap on the app that you want to open it.

iOS 11 app picker

As you can see, this is greatly simplified.

How to Send Messages With Spotlight and Echo Effects?

The Spotlight and Echo effects are new screen effects that you can use with iMessage. They may not be that functional, but they can be interesting. Echo makes it so that you can repeat a message over and over on your screen, and Spotlight will drop a light on your message that highlights it. Here is how you can send a message with these features:

1 Send a Message With Spotlight or Echo Effects

(1) Open Messages on your device.

(2) Open a conversation.

(3) Tap on the text box where you normally write your message.

(4) Write your message.

(5) Press and hold the send button.

(6) You will see different effect options come up. Make sure that you have "Screen" selected (instead of "Bubble").

(7) Now you can toggle through Spotlight, Echo, and other effects by swiping left and right.

(8) Tap the arrow to send.

iOS 11 messages screen effect

2 How to Send Photo/Video with Spotlight or Echo Effects

(1) Open Messages on your device.

(2) Go to any conversation.

(3) Tap on the camera icon.

(4) Take a picture or choose something from your gallery.

(5) Now press and hold the send button.

(6) When the new display comes up, make sure to tap on "Screen."

(7) Choose your effect by swiping.

(8) Send by tapping the arrow.

3 How to Send GIFS with Spotlight or Echo Effects

(1) In a conversation, tap on the App Store icon.

(2) Tap on the red search icon.

(3) Choose a GIF.

(4) Long-press on the send icon.

(5) Choose "Screen" at the top.

(6) Toggle through the different effects by swiping.

(7) Send by tapping on the arrow / send button.

How to Mute Message Alerts on iOS 11?

Message alerts will not only notify you of new messages, it will show a preview of the message on your lock screen. This can be convenient, but it can also cause privacy issues, of course. Here is how to mute specific alerts from Messages:

(1) On your device, go to your Messages app.

(2) Open up the conversation that you want to mute.

(3) Tap the "i" near the top of the screen.

(4) Tap the slider next to Hide Alerts.

(5) Tap Done at the top.

mute messages notifications on iOS 11

This will stop any message alerts from that conversation.

There are lots of exciting new changes with iOS 11 that have added features to many different built-in apps, like the Message app. Make sure to stay on top of these changes so that you're not blind-sided, and come back to this article as a reference if you're confused.