This is Week 4 of our new series: 8 Weeks of iOS 8, where we cover some basic, cool features in the new operating system for your iPhone and iPad.
One of my favorite parts of iOS is how it enables families to better communicate together. The best way is through a family group chat using the Messages app.
Setting up a family group message is easy — simply send an iMessage to all of your family members that have iPhones or Apple devices by adding them all to the "To:" section of a message. One the thread is started, you can send text, picture, video, or audio messages back and forth to each other. It's a fantastic way to keep in touch.
Do Not Disturb mode
Now you may be thinking — "I was in a group message before but it was super annoying because my phone buzzed every 5 seconds." I totally understand; I've been there myself. Luckily, Apple added a Do Not Disturb feature to group messages in iOS 8. To get there, open the group message thread of choice, and press "Details" in the top right corner. Scroll down and enable "Do Not Disturb" to silence the thread. You will still be notified of new messages, but without the bleep or vibration.
Send Audio Messages When You Don't Feel Like Typing
One super fun way to send messages in iOS 8 is by recording your voice and sending audio messages. Your family will hear an audio clip of your voice instead of seeing text, and is great for those who don't like typing or for when you're on the go.
To send an audio message, simply press and hold the microphone to the right of where you normally type a message. It will immediately start recording your voice. When you're finished, you can slide your finger up to send it, or to the left to the X to cancel and start over.
With Do Not Disturb and Audio Messages, your group conversations will be way more fun, and way less intrusive. Who doesn't want that for their family?