Sending Text Messages

Sending Text Messages, Using VoiceOver:  Rita’s iDevice Advice for February 10, 2020

This information was composed through collaboration with those of us who are the with the TTJTECH.NET Team, who are teaching the VoiceOver Class through the iTunes University app.

The Apple Messages app is extremely powerful. Welcome to the future of messaging, where your messages can be much more than just text.

Through the Messages app, you can send and receive iMessages, SMS messages, and MMS messages.

Sighted users can distinguish the type of message being received by the color of the message bubbles. SMS and MMS messages use a green bubble, while Apple iMessages have a blue bubble.

Apple iMessage uses the Internet, such as Wi-Fi or a cellular data connection, while SMS and MMS messages utilize your carrier’s texting plan. iMessages can only be sent between Apple devices. Apple iMessages are end-to-end encrypted.

The process for sending and receiving messages is exactly the same, regardless of the type of message, but some features may not be available unless you are using iMessage.

Navigating the Messages App with Voiceover:

When you first open the Messages app, you are placed in the list of message conversations. Near the upper left of the screen is the More button. Double-tapping this button allows you to select multiple message conversations with which to work. It also provides an option for you to edit your name and photo, assuming you have already set this up.

On the upper right of the screen is the Compose button. The rest of the screen is taken up by the list of existing message conversations, assuming you currently have any. As you swipe left and right through these conversations, the name or number of the other party is spoken by Voiceover, along with the most recent message in that conversation. Double-tap on a conversation to open it. Swipe left and right to read through messages in the conversation. Use the Vertical Scroll Bar or the three finger swipe up and down to quickly jump to earlier or later portions of any conversation.

Tap near the bottom center of your iPhone screen to find the edit field where you can begin typing a message to the other person in the conversation.

Composing a New Message:

If you do not wish to open an existing conversation, but wish instead to compose an entirely new message, you can open the Messages app, then tap near the top right corner of the screen to find the Compose button. Double-tap to begin. You are immediately placed in the, “To”, field. If the desired recipient is in your Contacts, type the first few letters of the person’s first or last name, such as “JEN” for Jenna, “JOH” for John, and so on. After typing a letter or two, reach up above the on-screen keyboard, near the left, and tap once. You will hear the name of a contact that includes the letters you have typed. If it is the one you want, double-tap it to continue. If not, swipe left and right to hear other matching results, or type more letters to further narrow your search. Messages displays results from your contacts, as well as SIRI suggested results from other apps. If a particular contact has more than one contact method associated with it, the preselected method, such as the contact’s iPhone number, is spoken when you tap once on their name. If you wish to proceed with this, double-tap on the name to insert it. If you wish to use a different contact method for that person, swipe to the right one time to find the Expand Options Chevron. Double-tap on that arrow to show additional contact options, then double-tap the one you want.

Sending a message to a group? No problem. After inserting the first recipient by double-tapping on the correct name as described above, immediately begin typing the first few letters of the next recipient’s name and repeat the above steps to find and double-tap on the correct result. Repeat this process as many times as you need to in order to add all desired recipients to the group.

As an alternative to this method, you can swipe once to the right of the, “To”, field, to find the “Add Contacts” button, and double-tap on it. This provides an interface where you can browse your entire list of contacts and select the one you want. Similar to the first method, this process can be repeated if you are sending a message to a group.

Don’t have the desired recipients in your contacts? Just enter a ten digit phone number, or an Apple ID or other iMessage email address, into the To field. If composing a group message, double-tap the Return key on the bottom right of your on-screen keyboard, after entering the number or address of a person who is not in your contacts.

To review the recipient (s) in your conversation, tap once on the To field, then swipe to the right.

To begin typing some text, tap once near the bottom center of the screen to find the Message Edit Field, then double-tap to open the edit field.

Type what you want, then tap once in the Message Edit field, now directly in the center of the screen above the virtual keyboard. Then swipe right to the Send button, and double-tap it to send the message.

Tip: When sending iMessages, you can swipe left from the edit field after sending your message, to find the status of the message. Voiceover will tell you whether the message has been delivered to the recipient’s device by saying, “Delivered”. If the recipient has “Send Read Receipts” enabled, you will also be able to find out when the person has actually opened your message._._,_._,_

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