Apple's recently-held Worldwide Developer Conference showed Apple finally opening its doors to third-party output on its native apps, most notable of them being iMessage. With the exclusive messaging platform being made compatible to third-party APIs, Apple has given developers an idea on how to make iMessage a bit more interactive, releasing four animated emoji sticker packs.
The sticker packs, which feature Animated Smileys, Hearts, Hands and Classic Mac icons, have been made available for the beta version of the tech giant's upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 10. With this example, developers would have more of an idea how much could be tinkered with in the previously-closed messaging platform.
What is particularly interesting about the four emoji packs is the fact that it includes Classic Mac icons from the days of the Macintosh II. The icons, which were originally designed by graphic designer Susan Kare during the 80s, and have become quite iconic among longtime Apple fans.
The other packs, as their names suggest, feature animated Hearts, 3D Smileys and hand gestures, such as a thumbs up and a peace sign.
For the developers who already have access to the beta version of iOS 10, accessing the four sticker sets is rather simple, as they could simply be accessed through iMessage's app drawer. Once accessed, they could be used just like any conventional emoji that is already available on the popular messaging platform.
iOS 10 is set to debut a number of improvements in iMessage, with added features such as "Invisible Ink" being made available for users. Just like animated emojis and sticker packs, Invisible Ink, which allows senders to hide a message until recipients slide their finger over the message bubble, is designed to make conversing through the platform much more interactive.
Apart from Invisible Ink, Apple has also announced that emojis in the new mobile operating system would be three times larger than their current size. These updated emojis would be included in iMessage's recommendations as users type in their response.
iOS 10, which would include the upgrades and updates to Apple's mobile operating system, is set to be released to the public later this year. Though no official release date has been announced, it is speculated that it would be released alongside the iPhone 7.