My conversations with friends have devolved to the point where we barely communicate. Rather than express our love or commiserate about the suffering that is the human experience, our daily interactions are a tit-for-tat over for who can make the best joke, or spot the best meme. The meme wars are fierce, and when all else fails, the exploding text is my secret weapon. When you deploy it tactfully, nothing is funnier. Even your most online friends might not know about it.
Sending exploding photo texts is easy, you just combine a couple of lesser-used iPhone features. The hard part is choosing the perfect image. I can’t help you with that, unfortunately. Either you’ve got the touch or you don’t.
You can make any picture explode, but the effect works best if you remove the background of an image and just use the silhouette of the main thing in it. Apple’s Photos app will do that automatically. This is useful for lots of other purposes too. Sadly for all the Android fans out there, all of this only works between iPhones. Tim Cook may not love you if you’re reading this on a Pixel or a Samsung, but I still do.
Open the image using the iPhone’s default Photos app; this part doesn’t work anywhere else. Then tap and hold on the part of the image you want to clip out. The image should pop out almost immediately, with a white outline flashing across it. The app can’t do this with every photo, so if you can’t get it to happen at first, try another image. The Photos app tends to handle it better when an object or a person is clearly the subject of the image, as opposed to something like a group photo with friends.
Then tap Copy—for some reason this doesn’t work if you use the Share button. Now open a text thread with your victim in iMessage, and paste the photo into the send field.
Get your trigger finger ready and hold down the Send button. There are a few effects to choose from. For example, “Slam” plops the image down on the screen, and Invisible Ink hides it behind a sparkling filter. That stuff is amateur hour. What you want is an explosion. Hit “Screen” up at the top. “Send With Echo” is the first effect in that category, and that’s what you want.
Then tap Send and boom, exploding message. Now you’re the funniest person in the group chat. It’s up to you whether you want to gatekeep this forbidden technique or tell your friends how to do it (just kidding please send them this article I need the ads money to feed my family).