Code words. Light shows. And parties. The best of iMessage.

You might already be reminiscing about the time you text your best friend saying congratulations and mysterious digital confetti started pouring from the top of your iPhone screen.

As it happens, this is not the only code word that triggers this expressive response.

It turns out there are a whole bunch of words that will light up your screen with cool effects and bring a whole new meaning to your iMessages.

If you’re talking with someone about an awesome upcoming concert you’re going to, after lockdown of course, you can spam their screen with lasers. Yes, actual frickin’ laser beams.

That’s not all. You can enjoy fireworks, balloons, hearts – the whole works!

Of course, we’re not celebrating things 365 days a year, unless you’re super cool and popular and have a calendar that’s jam packed – not jealous at all.

Sometimes you want to emphasise that you’re angry and your anger can’t quite be conveyed with a red-faced, almost constipated looking emoji.

Perhaps you’re feeling empathetic and want to show that you’re supportive of some super-sad news.

The good news is, Apple have delivered some extra features that let you show how you’re feeling, not just in the happy times, but for every other emotion too.

Here’s a full look all the effects that you can explore on iMessage.

Secret code words, check.

There are certain words and phrases that you can send to other iMessage users that will trigger these effects.

However, some of these phrases are a little particular and not quite what you’d use every day.

Luckily for you, there’s a way you can send any iMessage at all and still add these effects.

Laser show.

This has to be the coolest effect that iMessage has to offer, and not just because of the code word you type in, but because of the whole shebang.

If you type pew pew in an iMessage and hit send, your screen, and the recipients screen, will be taken over by lasers.

It’ll have you feeling like you’re back in the club with your friends or at that really cool concert way back when things were normal. Of course, pew pew isn’t exactly everyday conversation.

Post lockdown, some friends might need some persuading to come out and what better way to get them in the mood than by spamming their phone with a cool laser show?

The send with lasers effect on iMessage.
Create your own disco, right on your iPhone. 

To activate this, follow these three easy steps.

1)     Type your epic iMessage out.

2)     Long press the send button.

3)     Tap screen at the top then swipe for Send with lasers and press send.

This will give your friend a first class ticket to the show and get them in the mood to go out in no time!

Confetti party.

For those moments when you’re in the mood to celebrate and want to wish your friend a happy birthday, the confetti effect is perfect.

The secret code word for this one is Congratulations. Send this as an iMessage and watch digital confetti pour from the screen. The best bit? No sweeping up!

While congratulations is more of a usable phrase than pew pew, you might find yourself wanting to send some sarcastic confetti, say when your teenage son puts a load of washing on? Or when your daughter cleans her room?

The confetti effect on iMessage.
Confetti that you don't have to sweep up - the best kind!

Like the laser show, you can send confetti with any message at all.

1) Type out your celebratory iMessage.

2) Long press the send button then tap screen.

3) Scroll until you find Send with confetti then press send.

Balloon bonanza.

Lockdown has meant that we can’t celebrate people’s birthdays like we used to. Luckily for you, you can send a bunch of balloons your friends way, with a nice message.

Simply type happy birthday and hit send, and your recipient will get their own personal collection of colourful balloons.

Send with balloons effect on iMessage.
Balloons don't just have to be for birthdays...

You’ll notice a bit of a pattern here, but again you can send balloons for any occasion. Who says balloons have to be limited to birthdays?

1) Type out your party filled iMessage.

2) Long press the send button then tap screen.

3) Scroll until you find Send with balloons then press send.

Every night is Bonfire Night.

The topic of fireworks raises many discussions. Some love Bonfire Night and can’t wait to watch the fireworks. Others think it’s a total waste of money and are just there for the toffee apples.

By “others”, we of course mean us.

The animal lovers of the world just can’t bare to see the little cats and dogs in distress. The firework effect on iMessage is perfect for this and gets rid of the noise and the anxiety that comes with it.

The send with firework iMessage effect.
Watch a firework display, right on your iPhone. 

We don’t know about you, but we associate fireworks with the New Year and so does Apple.

The code word for this fun effect is Happy New Year. But again, we know that fireworks can be used for all sorts of stuff. Engagements, birthdays, even those crazy gender reveals in some cases.

1) Type out your explosive iMessage.

2) Long press send and then tap screen.

3) Scroll until you find Send with fireworks.

If you want to wish someone a Happy Chinese New Year on iMessage, your iPhone will light the message up red and add sparklers to the background.

Extra effects.

There are some other effects on iMessage that you can use that aren’t associated with a secret code word.

Send with love.

For those moment when you’re feeling all mushy and romantic, you can send your iMessage with love.

The send with love effect on iMessage.
Spread the love with iMessage.

Whether you’re writing a paragraph as long as your leg confessing your undying love for someone or simply sending a goodnight message, this effect lets you show your sweeter side.

1) Type out your love note.

2) Long press send and then tap screen.

3) Scroll for Send with love and hit send.

This will attach a giant red love heart to your message and can be used every day on every occasion – spread the love folks!

Life in the spotlight.

If you want to really emphasise a message, we’re talking put it in lights and have everyone look at it, this effect is perfect.

There’s a way you can cast a spotlight onto your iMessage, so everyone is forced to pay attention.

Send with spotlight iMessage effect.
Put your message in the spotlight. 

This is great for those group chat moments when your 99.9% nobody is listening to you. Simply send your message with the spotlight effect and take over your recipients screen.

1) Type out your important message.

2) Long press send and then tap screen.

3) Scroll for Send with spotlight and hit send.

Echo away.

The echo effect will take your iMessage and replicate it lots of different times all across the screen. Maybe you’re reminding your husband it’s his turn to pick up the kids from school and want to make sure he doesn’t forget.

Send with echo effect on iMessage.
Echo is the perfect effect when you really want to get your message across.

Perhaps you’re reminding a friend of your upcoming birthday, so you don’t end up with an awkward gift mishap like last year… Whatever it is, this effect will make sure your recipient gets the message loud and clear.

1) Type out your impactful message.

2) Long press send and then tap screen.

3) Scroll for Send with echo and then hit send.

If you’ve started having a play around with these, you’ll have noticed that before you head to screen, there are a selection of options to send bubble effects.

The coolest is definitely the invisible ink effect which will hide your iMessage with a fizzy looking shield and will only be revealed when the other person taps on it – it’s a great way of building anticipation for a big reveal!

The invisible ink effect on iMessage.
Keep your secret iMessage's a secret.

The gentle effect will let you send your message with some emphasis, but not enough to sound angry or aggressive. It’s a great way of giving someone a slight nudge or a tap, as opposed to a full frontal shove.

The loud effect does exactly the opposite and will give the recipient the impression that what you’re saying is either urgent or said angrily. Or perhaps urgent and said angrily.

Slam is another one of our favourites and does exactly what it says on the tin. It slams down your iMessage, on the other person’s screen, and causes a ripple effect on all the other messages. It’s super-fun to watch but also great for showing the importance of your message too.

Apple strikes again.

Once again, Apple have delivered something truly unique and special. It’s not always easy to get across exactly what we mean on text, but these effects lend a helping hand.

Whether you’re celebrating, you’re angry, you’re happy, or simply just being sarcastic – they’ve got you covered.

Of course, to get in all the fun you’ll need to be part of the iPhone family. Luckily for you, we’ve got some incredible deals available now on the very latest from Apple and our customer favourites.