First came the confetti, lasers, and fireworks, now come the echoes and spotlights. This is not a reference to Coachella (though these effects wouldn't be out of place there), but rather your iPhone's screen effects.
Screen effects, which Apple launched last year as part of iOS 10, let you send messages with playful, animated embellishments. After typing your message, press and hold the send button to launch "Send with effect" and toggle to "screen" on the right.
The beta version of iOS 11, available now to anyone who has enrolled in the free sign-up and downloaded the software, has two new effects: Spotlight and Echo. It's the latter of these that has gotten a lot of attention from beta testers on Twitter.
The echo effect multiplies anything you send, be it text, an emoji, or a photo. The recipient will see frame after frame of your image pile on top of each other — it fills the entire screen. This has the potential to be funny and incredibly obnoxious, while also raising some interesting questions should you open that echoing message in a public place: If you know someone is at work, you probably don't want to send nudes with an echo effect or even a single swear word.
Luckily, the animation (which you can, like others, replay) will end after about three seconds.
The Slam and Loud effects that currently exist to enlarge your text bubble may quickly become obsolete, should echo roll out in the final version of iOS 11, but we'll know more about that on Sept. 12. Because if you want to make a message really stand out, you need only to have it appear 20 plus times on your recipient's screen. That should do the trick.
Word to the wise: Starting the Echo with one friend will likely ignite an Echo war of epic proportions.
It's true, this particular text effect could old really fast, especially with over-eager Echo users. If you're sending the heart emoji, though, it's a nice way to make your love resonate.