Secret keywords for sending iPhone text messages with screen effects

You can trigger special screen effects in your iPhone text messages by typing these secret keywords. Here’s the list.

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You know about sending screen effects with messages from your iPhone with iOS 10 or later: balloons, confetti, fireworks, etc. (You don’t? Then read my article How to send messages with balloons and other screen effects in iOS 12.) Turns out there are secret keywords that will trigger effects automatically!

Here’s the list of keywords and the effects they generate.

  • Congratulations (Confetti)
  • Congrats (Confetti)
  • Happy Birthday (Balloons)
  • Happy New Year (Fireworks)
  • Happy Chinese New Year (Celebration)
  • Pew pew (Lasers)

(This list may grow as I continue to test.)

In Messages, just type one of the words (or phrases) from the list and tap the Send button. Presto, the effect is sent also. Test by sending text messages to yourself so you can see how it goes. It won’t work if you add other words, so “Wishing you a happy birthday” doesn’t work, while just “Happy birthday” does.

Of course there are several other effects that you can send (see my article about screen effects) but these are the ones that are triggered automatically.

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