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iOS 8 Messages app to see host of enhancements and long-awaited improvements

Messages in iOS 8 will be receiving a number compelling enhancements that should make the most frequently used app in iOS all the more useful. Here is a rundown of what users can look forward to.

One of the more novel additions to Messages is the ability to seamlessly send voice messages without having to leave the app itself, a feature Apple calls "Tap to Talk." As is typically the case, the implementation is simple and intuitive.

As you can see above, there's now a microphone icon located to the right of the message window. Users simply need to tap on the icon, record their message and send away. Also worth noting is that users can listen to voice messages by simply raising their iPhone up to their ear. In addition to audio, the Messages app in iOS 8 also allows users to quickly to send short video messages.

It's worth highlighting that voice and video messages sent via Messages will self-destruct as to save storage space. Message recipients, though, can pro-actively keep selected audio and video messages of their choosing. Think Snapchat meets iOS.

Another welcome improvement to Messages in iOS 8 is that it finally grants users more control over group text conversations that they're a part of. Specifically, iOS 8 finally gives users the ability to leave group texting threads, add or remove other participants, and elect not to be disturbed every time a group text flies in.

One of the cooler features in the new Messages app, I think, is the ability to see all the photos and videos ever sent in a particular conversation without having to hit "Load Earlier Messages" ad infinitum. For anyone who has had to press that dreadful button innumerable times to find a photo sent weeks if not months earlier, this feature is a godsend.

And speaking of photos, Messages in iOS 8 now supports the ability to send multiple photos and videos concurrently.

Lastly, a clever add-on to the upcoming Messages feature set is the ability to quickly share your location with friends.

Apple describes the feature thusly:

"Where are you?" Answer that question more clearly than ever with a map showing your location. You can also share your whereabouts with people you choose for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. And you can see people in the message thread on a map if they've shared their locations.

This will certainly make connecting with friends much simpler than it's been with "Find My Friends."

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