Messages in iOS 10 has a whole host of new features. It is one of the most heavily updated apps in iOS 10. An ecosystem of apps for Messages has been created with this new version allowing you to add even more features to it via third-party apps. One noteworthy feature in the Messages app is native GIF support. The feature is called Image search. The app has long been able to play GIFs but as of iOS 10, you can now search and insert GIFs from inside the app. You don’t need to install any additional apps to use this feature however it isn’t available for everyone. It is region locked and if you don’t live in the right place, you simply will not see it. There’s a simple work around that will let you get the feature, just not natively, in the Messages app. Here’s how.
Apple has placed regional restrictions on the Image search functionality. It is only available in Australia, Canada,India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, United Kingdom, and United States . If you reside outside these countries, the feature will not be available.
It doesn’t matter if it was available in the Beta release of iOS 10. The Beta allowed access to the feature to some users who resided outside these areas but the release version is not as accommodating.
If you do reside in one of these countries and still cannot see it, you might have to enable it. If you do not reside in these countries but would like to use this feature, you’re going to have to work around it.
Enable Image Search In Messages
To enable Image search in Messages, open the Messages app and tap the ‘App Store’ button next to the text input field. Tap the grid button at the bottom and then tap ‘Store’. When the store panel opens, switch to the Manage tab and enable #image. You will not see #image in the Manage tab if you reside outside the countries it is available in.
The Work Around For Region Restricted Users
iOS 10 might lock you out of the native GIF feature but that doesn’t mean you can’t have it. There are quite a few GIF search keyboard apps available for iOS and Giphy is an app that has been updated with support for the Message app. Simply download the app and enable it in Messages.
You can now search and insert GIFs from inside the Messages app.