A Missed Opportunity with Text and Screen Effects in iOS

We have now had text and screen effects on iOS for eight months. Are you using them? Perhaps more importantly, does Apple remember they exist?

When iOS 10 was first released, I made the argument that to keep these relevant, Apple needed to constantly iterate and update them. If you’ve ever spent any time with Snapchat, you know what I’m talking about. Snapchat regularly releases new filters and effects that you can apply to your images. They often change seasonally and even for particular holidays. Watching my children and their friends, they all get a kick out of whatever the latest and greatest Snapchat filter is.

I think Apple had a similar opportunity with text and screen effects in iOS messaging. Why not render text with snowflakes during the winter? Why not have a screen effect with flowers blooming in the spring?

By changing things up, Apple could keep text and screen effects more relevant, and they’d get used more often. (When’s the last time you used either of these features?) If Apple brought a little regularly updated whimsy to the table, it would make the iPhone even more “sticky” for users and make them less likely to change platforms.

This seems like such a no-brainer that I’m surprised Apple hasn’t been more aggressive with text and screen effects. I’m guessing we’ll get a few updated animations with iOS 11 when they announce it next month, but I think they are missing out by not having much more frequent updates and animations.