Last week, Ally somewhat accidentally discovered that if you change an iMessage's group name on your computer, it changes the name for everyone on the thread. It not only led to some pretty hilarious griefing for our other co-workers, but got me thinking about other ridiculous tricks and trolls for making iMessage conversations a little more — shall we say — interesting. So here are ten ridiculous games, tricks, and other nonsense to keep you and your friends laughing throughout the day.
1. Group name shenanigans
Changing the group name won't send your friends alerts the way traditional texts will, but it does change how new messages show up — when you receive a text, the group's name will show up next to the sender. There's room for lots of silliness here, as well as emoji, and everyone has access to changing the name — you can't lock it down.
2. Forever texting
If you're messaging with someone who gets impatient waiting for text messages, you can grief them with an oldie but a goodie: a gif of the text message in progress icon. This doesn't work perfectly on Macs or with people who have read receipts enabled, but it's still worth a giggle or two.
3. This is the song that never ends
Whether your friend has an aversion to a particular song or you just want to send a little Rick Astley love their way, you can use iOS 8's iMessage vocal recording feature to send a clip of a song — prerecorded or sung yourself — to your friend in need.
Just don't be surprised if they retaliate.
4. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
One emoji or two to spice up a conversation is all well and good, but do you know what's even more fun? Creating stories out of emoji. You can use the return key and the emoji keyboard to build all sorts of storyboards and tales, depending on your patience — and use o the return key.
Of course, if you don't want to spend the time building a narrative, you can always torture your friends with an emoji dump by sending 1000 copies of an emoji their way. The old-fashioned way to do this involves a lot of copying and pasting, but if you have Workflow, you can use Myke Hurley's devilishly horrible script for auto-sending 1000 copies of an emoji someone's way.
5. Do you want to play a game?
It may not be as sophisticated as a Facebook or Game Center game, but there are a variety of old-school board games you can play with a few emojis and some creativity. Connect Four's a fun one, but you can even rock checkers or chess if you're patient.
Can't find the right emoji for a response? That's what reaction gifs are for: You can use third-party keyboards like PopKey or a gif search site like Giphy to help pick the perfect gif response for a particularly silly conversation, or even make a gif of yourself using Workflow or GifMill.
7. The selfie of disapproval
Selfies aren't just for your Instagram feed: They can be super-useful at expressing all sorts of emotions that emojis or gifs are lacking in. Excitement, rage, horror, joy — whatever you want to express toward your buddy, you probably can with a quick-shot selfie.
8. Let's go on a text adventure
This one was suggested by Dave Addey on Twitter, and what an awesome suggestion it was:
@settern I sometimes pretend I'm a text adventure.
I did this with a few friends last week, and it's pretty hilarious where it will take you: One of my friends tried to keep to the original Zork script by looking up a walkthrough; one started inspecting strange things on the ground; and one had me spin up an entirely new adventure for hours that left us both laughing. If you want to practice your storytelling and confuse your non-geeky friends, this is a pretty great way to do it.
9. Poetry for the autocorrect masses
File this down as another way to confuse your buddies and end up laughing: iOS 8's QuickType keyboard is great for predicting and filling in long words you don't necessarily want to type in full, but it's even more hilarious when you let it drive your conversation entirely.
Use only QuickType to create a message, and it will attempt to create a logical sentence as best it can... albeit, a logical sentence that twists, turns, and meanders. Your results can be pretty fantastic.
10. Receive a delightful mystery surprise
I won't spoil this one for either party, but pro-tip: If you're feeling glum and want a cheer-up, texting 866-740-4531 is a guaranteed smile.
I received a bunch of other great ideas on Twitter, but if you have a personal favorite fun thing to do over iMessage, leave it in the comments.