How to use Collaboration in iMessage on iOS 16

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Apple has made it easier to collaborate with others with iMessage in iOS 16, allowing users to invite others to collaborate on a project and get real-time updates on the changes made. This is how you get started.

Collaboration works across iPhones, iPads and Macs running the latest operating systems.

Here’s what you can do with Collaboration and how to send a collaboration invitation via iMessage to people you want to work on a project with.

How collaboration helps groups

Previously, you had to send a copy – and not the live version – of a document to share with others, but in iOS 16 Apple solves this problem with Collaboration. This feature allows you to select a document and instantly start collaborating with others on it from the share sheet.

When you invite others to collaborate on a project, you can send an attachment in iMessage. Sending the invitation is as easy as sending a link to others.

When you want to start collaborating with others on a project, you can select the share button and choose the people you want to collaborate with. You don’t need to select multiple people, but if everyone you want to share with is in one group chat, you can easily select or enter the group chat name and everyone in it will have access to the project. Make sure “Collaborate” is the selected option and not “Send Copy” in the share sheet.

Once the people you sent the project to get it, they can start making edits and changes right away. In the project, there will be a side message in the corner of the people who have joined the collaboration.

At the top of the message thread, you can see updates about the changes that were made or the changes that you missed. From the document, you can initiate communication directly from the toolbar. You can also message the group, call or start a FaceTime with them.

You can also collaborate with Shared Tabs in Safari.

Members can share a group of tabs that the whole team can see and interact with. Once you’ve looked at what was shared, you can see who’s on which tab by having their profile picture appear next to the webpage name.

More tabs can be added at any time, and when they are added, team members can jump into them immediately.

When a member jumps into the project and starts making edits and changes to it, you can see what they’re changing and the elements they’re changing in real time. Enabling “Participant Markers” will allow a name to pop up next to the text they are modifying – which will be highlighted.

Collaboration is a great way to work with others on a project simultaneously and get real-time updates on what changes are being made. The feature works across all devices running iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura.

How to send an invitation to collaborate

Sending a collaboration invitation with iMessage is very simple and easy. Sending an invitation is like sending a link to anyone. How to send one.

  1. Go into document you want to collaborate on
  2. Press on “Share” icon to bring up the sharing sheet
  3. Make sure the option is set to “Cooperation” and does not “Send a copy” below the document name. You can also choose who can edit the document and what permissions they have.
  4. Press on personal or group chat you will also send the invitation. If the person you want to collaborate with isn’t available in the share sheet, you can send one New message and write their name there.
  5. Once you send it, others will be able to start accessing the document immediately. You get one notice in the document of the people who have come along.

Once an invitation has been sent out, you can change who has access at any time – by adding or revoking it. To do that, just tap “Manage Share” in the document’s communication toolbar (located in the area you’d go to make a FaceTime call in the document).

Collaboration can be sent to people other than in the Messages app.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Collaboration is a great tool to help any group complete a project simultaneously while being remote. You can see changes and edits made to the document in real time and get an overview of what you missed in the message thread in iMessage.

The feature is a quick and easy way to work together, and with the addition of iMessage – and being able to share the invitation and communicate about it quickly and effortlessly – makes completing a project less of a chore.

Collaboration works on iOS 16, iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura. iOS 16 is available now with iPadOS16 and macOS Ventura releasing in October 2022.


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