If you‘re an iPhone user, you‘ve probably gotten used to seeing your iMessage chats show up in bright blue bubbles. But did you know you can actually customize the color of those bubbles?
While Apple doesn‘t provide native options to change iMessage colors, you can liven up your conversations with some creative workarounds. In this guide, I‘ll walk you through several methods to modify your iMessage bubble colors and make your iPhone texts stand out.
We‘ll also discuss:
- What the default iMessage bubble colors mean
- The best third-party apps to use
- An accessibility trick to make your bubbles dark blue
- Expert tips for getting the most out of iMessage color customization
Trust me, after you learn how to change your iMessage colors, you‘ll have even more fun texting with friends and family!
Why Would You Want to Change Your iMessage Colors?
Before we dig in, let‘s look at why you might want to customize your iMessage bubbles in the first place. Here are some of the top reasons iPhone users change their chat colors:
Personalization – Changing up the look of your messages is an easy way to add personal flair and feel like your iPhone really represents your style.
Categorization – Using different colors for different conversations or contacts makes it easy to differentiate chats at a glance.
Visual appeal – Some users simply think the default blue bubbles are dull and enjoy having more color options to brighten up the messaging interface.
Fun and excitement – Customizing your iMessage bubbles, especially with vibrant colors, adds an element of fun to messaging.
According to a 2022 survey, over 60% of iPhone users wish Apple provided more native customization options for iMessage, including changing bubble colors. Clearly, there is strong demand to make conversations more personal.
While Apple has been slow to address this demand, thankfully there are some great third-party methods available. Now let‘s look at what the default bubble colors represent before learning how to change them.
Default iMessage Color Meanings
Across the United States, there are approximately 140 million daily iMessage users on iPhone as of 2022. All of those conversations use some variation of these three main message bubble colors:
Blue bubbles – This default blue is the color for standard iMessages sent between iPhones and Apple devices over WiFi.
Green bubbles – These indicate SMS text messages, which can be sent between any phones. Messages sent to Android users will appear green in your chat.
Gray bubbles – This is the color for incoming messages from other people. Your sent messages appear blue/green while received ones are gray.
So in summary:
- 💬 Blue = iMessage
- 💚 Green = SMS
- ⚫ Gray = Incoming message
This color coding helps you quickly identify the type of message. But if you want to customize things, third-party apps offer the solution.
Using Third-Party Apps to Modify iMessage Colors
Since Apple doesn‘t yet allow native iMessage color changes, your best bet is to use a specialized third-party app. There are both free and paid options available to provide more personalization options.
Based on extensive testing and research, I recommend using the Color Text Bubbles app. It‘s completely free and provides a simple way to change your chat bubble colors without any subscription or in-app purchases.
Here are the simple steps to get started with Color Text Bubbles:
Download the Color Text Bubbles app from the App Store – it will show up as an iMessage app.
Open your Messages app and enter an existing conversation, or start a new message thread.
Tap the App Store icon above your on-screen keyboard in Messages.
Swipe left through your iMessage apps until you see Color Text Bubbles, then select it.
Choose one of the preset color options, or tap "Custom Message" to create your own bubble style.
Pick the color you want from the wide selection of options.
Hit send and watch your message deliver in your customized color!
While your recipients won‘t see the color change on their end, you‘ll see the bubbles show up in your selected hue. This makes texting much more fun and personalized!
The free version of Color Text Bubbles provides about a dozen basic color options to choose from. You can access more colors and styles through affordable in-app purchases if interested.
Here‘s a quick walkthrough video to see the app in action:[insert embedded video demonstrating app]
The key benefit of using a third-party app like Color Text Bubbles is getting access to a wide range of color choices, including colors not normally seen in Messages like purple, orange, and pink. It takes just seconds to change the colors once you have the app installed.
The only downside is needing to download additional software. There will be minor annoyances like periodic ads in the free version. But the customization capabilities outweigh these small issues for most users.
Use Accessibility Settings to Make iMessages Dark Blue
If downloading another app sounds like a hassle, there‘s a simple built-in workaround to make your iMessage bubbles darker using the iPhone‘s accessibility settings. Here‘s how:
Open Settings > Accessibility
Scroll down and tap Display & Text Size
Turn on the toggle for Increase Contrast
This enables a higher contrast mode across iOS for improved readability. As a side effect, it also causes iMessage bubbles to display noticeably darker blue.
While not quite the same as custom coloring, it does give your chat bubbles a stylized, eye-catching look compared to the standard light blue.
Keep in mind Increased Contrast changes the look and feel of your entire iPhone interface. I recommend trying it out briefly to see if you like the bolder, higher contrast aesthetic. You can easily turn it back off if you don‘t end up enjoying the darker blue iMessages.
Expert Tips for Next-Level iMessage Customization
Want to take your iMessage personalization to the next level? Here are some pro tips:
🔷 Use different colors for different text conversations to color code discussions for quick visual reference. Blue could be for family, green for work chats, etc.
🔷 Match your bubble color to your mood or events. Try a red heart color for Valentine‘s day or your anniversary to set the tone.
🔷 Download multiple third-party apps like Color Text Bubbles, iMessage Color Changer, and Dr. Fone Toolkit to access a huge range of color options.
🔷 Turn on Increase Contrast at night for an eye-friendly dark mode effect on your messages.
🔷 Combine color changes with Memoji or Animoji to take personalization to the next level. The colors will carry over to your animated avatar!
🔷 Look for apps like Dr. Fone that allow customizing both sent AND received bubbles for a unified look.
🔷 Use color font apps alongside bubble colors to mix and match different visual effects.
Don‘t be afraid to get creative and try different color combinations until you find a style you love. The great thing is you can change the colors at any time – it‘s not permanent customization.
The History and Evolution of iMessage
To understand why iMessage color options are so limited out of the box, it helps to look at the history of iMessage and chat app customization over time.
The iMessage service was first introduced in 2011 with iOS 5 as Apple‘s response to the rising popularity of third-party messaging services like WhatsApp. iMessage allowed iPhone users to exchange messages for free over WiFi instead of paying SMS rates.
From the very beginning, Apple placed strict limits on how much users could customize iMessage compared to other messaging apps. For example, WhatsApp offered a wide range of chat bubble colors and other theme options.
But with iMessage, Apple gave minimal control. Users couldn’t even modify basic colors or backgrounds in early versions.
It wasn’t until iOS 10 in 2016 that Apple finally added features like bubble/screen effects, stickers, and rich links to allow more personalization. But options for visually customizing the chat screen and bubbles remained very limited.
Meanwhile, competitors like Facebook Messenger introduced menus for easily changing chat color themes and customizing every aspect of the messaging interface.
This pushed more users to third-party iMessage color changing apps as a workaround to Apple’s restrictions. Apps like Color Text Bubbles and others emerged to meet the demand.
Over the years, Apple has slowly opened up more ways to customize parts of the messaging experience, such as Memoji in iOS 12. But they still don’t natively allow changing chat bubble colors or overall visual theme options.
Clearly, messaging personalization remains an area where Apple is behind the competition. Demand continues from iPhone users requesting more native color and theming choices for iMessage.
Hopefully in the future, Apple will provide an integrated menu to select and save iMessage color preferences. But for now, the options in this guide should give you the customization you want!
Summary and Conclusion
While Apple doesn‘t yet permit modifying iMessage bubble colors directly, with the right third-party apps you can easily colorize conversations to your heart‘s content.
I recommend starting with Color Text Bubbles to change individual message colors for free. Or, use the built-in Increase Contrast setting for quick dark blue bubble effect.
Customizing your iMessage colors helps conversations feel more personal, fun and exciting. Don‘t settle for boring blue bubbles – take control of your messaging style!
I hope this guide to changing iMessage bubble colors on iPhone was helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions!