Many of us have wanted a quick reply messaging option to come stock in iOS for years. And finally, after years of begging, Apple has granted our wish with iOS 8 via interactive notifications. If you receive a message while you're using your iPhone or iPad, you can now respond without ever even entering the Messages app. Here's how!
How to quickly respond to a message while using your iPhone or iPad
When you receive a message notification on your iPhone or iPad, pull down on it.
Type in your message and tap send.
That's it! Your message will be sent on its way and you are back to doing whatever you were before the message was received.
How to use quick reply messaging from the Lock screen of your iPhone or iPad
You can also use quick reply right from the lock screen. Unlocking your iPhone or iPad by swiping right on a message launches the messages app. If you'd prefer to answer right from your Lock screen instead, the process is a little different:
When you receive a message notification on your Lock screen, slide your finger over it to the left to reveal options.
Tap on Reply in order to invoke quick reply.
Type out your message and tap Send.
That's it! Alternately, tapping on the x next to Reply on the Lock screen will instantly mark the message as read. That means there will be no badge on the Messages app when you unlock your iPhone or iPad, and that the person on the other side will see a read receipt, if you have them enabled.