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According to Craig Federighi, Messages is the most used application on iOS and Apple intends to keep it that way with a slew of new features for it with iOS 8.

Taking on the current incumbents of messaging such as WhatsApp and Snapchat is no easy task though — so Apple is liberally borrowing some of their best features for iOS 8 Messages with the new push-to-talk and quick photo options. These new options allow you to quickly send a short voice recording or selfie or video with the microphone and camera buttons now located either side of the text entry box. With a simple tap and slide it’s then sent on its way.

Quickly send voice recordings with iOS 8 Messages

Quickly send voice recordings with iOS 8 Messages

Instead of these quick audio or photo messages being stored indefinitely, it’s up to the recipient to decide whether they want to keep them. If they don’t then they will be removed automatically from the conversation after a certain time and disappear forever. While not quite as ephemeral as Snapchat, being able to choose what to keep should mean your device doesn’t get full with these new audio and photo messages.

Leave the thread

Another welcome feature being added to Messages is the ability to leave group message threads. With iOS 7, once you were in a thread you were stuck forever. With iOS 8 you can now control them and leave if you want to. There’s even a Do Not Disturb option if you just want to mute it for a while or you can invite new people to the group.If you’re planning to meet up with people then you can share your current location within the group rather than having to go through Find my Friends.

Share your location in the iOS 8 Messages app

Share your location in the iOS 8 Messages app

Along with all this, each message thread now has an attachments section where you can view all photo messages in one place that have been shared between you. This will tsp you having to scroll back up through thousands of messages to find the photo you’re looking for.

With these set of new features for iOS 8, Messages is looking to keep its place as the most used app on iOS and it might just pull it off.

Check out more of our iOS 8 coverage here.