Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell for Macworld

Follow the users: Why Messages got the biggest upgrade in iOS 10

The app that got the most attention during the iOS segment of Monday’s Apple WWDC keynote was Messages, the unassuming text-messaging tool. A lot of people might have been baffled by the strange emphasis on adding animations, sketches, stickets, big emoji, and even third-party app access to an app as inconsequential as Messages.

That sort of thinking is unsurprising: I’d bet that a huge percentage of people in the computer-nerd sphere-including a whole lot of people who work at Apple-don’t think of Messages as anything but boring. Why jazz up something that’s fundamentally so utilitarian?

It turns out that when you unleash smartphone technology on billions of people of all ages and cultures from all around the planet, sometimes those billions of people use that technology in ways that the people crafting tech products in California might not anticipate. The messaging-app category, from WeChat to SnapChat to Line to Facebook Messenger, is huge. People love sending videos and pictures and stickers and emoji with their smartphones.

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