iMessage Apps

The quickest and easiest way to provide a rich user experience is to use standard Business Chat interactive messages like list pickers and time pickers. If you need additional functionality, you can design a custom experience that’s delivered through an iMessage app (standalone or integrated into your iOS app). An airline, for example, could use an iMessage app to let customers choose a seat or view a flight’s progress on a map. Or, a retail store could use an iMessage app to let customers view product details or an in-store map.

Screenshot of a conversation that includes information about a company's merchandise and a link to the store map.

An interactive message from an iMessage app looks like a standard chat bubble, but it opens your custom native interface when a customer selects it. If your iMessage app — or your iOS app containing an embedded iMessage app — isn’t installed on the customer’s device yet, the customer can quickly download it without leaving the conversation.

Provide next steps after installing an iMessage app. When a customer receives a link to install an iMessage app, remind them to tap the bubble to launch the app.

Keep your interactive experience focused. For clarity and ease of use, iMessage apps should enable single, specific tasks. For example, a retail store shouldn’t offer both order lookup and account configuration through the same iMessage app. If you need to offer multiple tasks, design separate iMessage apps that can be used independently.

For developer guidance, see iMessage Apps for developers. For related design guidance, see Human Interface Guidelines > iOS > Messaging.