The 4 Best iMessage Apps and Extensions in 2023

Add more capabilities and expand what your messages can do

Some of the best conversations between friends and family happen in the Messages app. You can make Messages even more useful by adding some apps that come with Message extensions. Here are the ones we like best.

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Best App for When a Picture's Worth a Thousand Words: Giphy

Using Giphy iMessage app to send a GIF via text
What We Like
  • Find thousands of GIFs to fit any mood.

  • Easily search for your favorite GIF using the search feature.

  • Send text images, emojis and more using Giphy.

  • Create your own GIFs inside the iMessage app.

What We Don't Like
  • The extension offers so much that it's a bit overwhelming.

  • Must have a Giphy account to save favorites for later use.

  • May run a bit slower than other apps.

If a picture's worth a thousand words, a GIF must be worth a million. The GIPHY extension for iMessage allows you to send your favorite GIFs to your friends and family, without the need to open the GIPHY app.

That's not all. You can also search through text and emojis to send and even create your own GIFs while inside the app. Although you'll need a GIPHY account to save your favorite GIFs for future use, it's worth it.

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Best App for When You Need to Send Cash Fast: Venmo

Using Venmo iMessage app to request cash
What We Like
  • Send cash or request cash without ever leaving iMessage.

  • View your Venmo cash balance inside the iMessage app.

  • Change single payment privacy settings while in iMessage.

What We Don't Like
  • You can't view your payment history without opening the Venmo app.

  • You can't transfer your balance without opening the Venmo app.

  • Want to see transactions made by your friends? You'll need to open the app.

Venmo is known for its fast and easy mobile payment system, and paying your friends and receiving cash is even easier with the Venmo extension for iMessage.

Using the Venmo app, you can send or request cash without ever leaving the conversation, and also check your Venmo balance. Simply decide whether you're sending or receiving, enter the amount and you're ready to go.

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Best App for When a Song Says It All: Spotify

Using the Spotify iMessage app to send a song via text
What We Like
  • Send any song in the Spotify library.

  • Search for your song without ever leaving the app.

  • Play music inside the iMessage app.

What We Don't Like
  • Song only plays for 30 seconds.

  • You must open the Spotify app to listen to the song in its entirety.

  • Other media types, such as Podcasts, can't be sent.

Sometimes it takes a song to say what you want to say. Whether you're trying to send that latest track you've had on repeat or that special song to your special someone, the Spotify extension can help.

All you have to do is download the Spotify app to your device. You can then use the app inside iMessage. Use the search bar to look for songs by song name or even artist. Once you make your selection, Spotify will send a 30 second clip to the recipient of your message.

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Best App for When You Need to Text in Another Language: iTranslate

Using the iTranslate app on iMessage to translate an outgoing text
What We Like
  • Translate texts using over 100 languages.

  • Choose from three different layouts, including QWERTY, AZERTY, and QWERTZ to fit your needs.

  • Flag icons show you which translation belongs to which language.

What We Don't Like
  • Must be online to use iTranslate. The offline version is only available with a Pro subscription.

  • Voice translation is only available with a Pro subscription.

  • To use features like the handy Phrasebook, you’ll have to open the iTranslate app.

Whether you're traveling abroad or simply need to have a translation tool on hand, iTranslate is a great option, especially for use with iMessage.

Inside iMessage, the iTranslate extension allows you to translate your text into over 100 different languages. Simply select the language you wish to translate to and create your message. iTranslate does the rest, leaving you with a fully translated message, ready to send.

Some features, such as offline access and the ability to use your camera to translate menus and signs (in the iTranslate app), are only available with a Pro subscription, which will cost you $49.99 per year.

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