Tip of the Day: Long-Press the ‘+’ Button in iOS 17 Messages to Jump to the Photo Picker

In iOS 17, Apple introduced an all-new design in Messages for adding attachments like photos or stickers. Everything you can attach — new images from Camera, old images from your Photos library, location-sharing, stickers, or iMessage “apps” — is accessed from an unusual-looking menu that opens when you tap the “+” button. Just one button, “+”, that opens a menu with everything. It’s just an unusual-looking menu. It’s simple, and while not flashy, it’s not unattractive — but it doesn’t look or feel like any other menu or scrolling list in iOS. Even after almost a year of using it (dating back to iOS 17 betas) I still think it looks ... unfinished? Like an early mockup that hasn’t yet been polished or refined. I’m genuinely curious if we will see more menus like this in iOS 18, or if this unique design only lasts one year and Apple comes up with something better (or at least more consistent with the rest of the system).

The number one complaint people have with this menu is that in earlier versions of iOS, it was easier to get to the Photo library picker, because there was a dedicated button for it. The new design is a much better presentation for the entire plethora of attachment types, but it adds an extra step to get to your own photos.

But, there’s a shortcut: long-press on the “+” button and you’ll jump right to the photo picker. (Also, you can long-press then drag to reorder the items in the menu itself.)

Sunday, 2 June 2024