Messages The Messages app for iOS 7 now gives everyone the ability to see time stamps for any sent message or received message directly in the app. This lets you know exact times of correspondence when any message was sent or received, providing the precise hour and minute for each individual element of dialog. This is a handy trick that is easy to miss, but also just as easy to use once you know it’s there:

  • Open Messages app and go to any conversation with a contact
  • Tap and hold on a message and swipe left to view timestamps

View time stamps for messages

You have to continue to hold the swipe to view the time stamps on the right side of the messages display, letting go of the swipe hold will cause the messages to swing back and cover the timestamp again.

Yes, this also works for iMessages, MMS multimedia texts, in addition to standard SMS text messages. If it’s in the Messages app and you’re post-iOS 7, you’ll be able to view the timestamp whether or not the other recipient is running iOS at all. To see more than a small handful of message timestamps you will need to scroll around in the messages window to do so on the iPhone and iPod touch, while the iPad larger display obviously will show many more timestamps and messages simultaneously.

There is no obvious indicator this feature exists, so much like deleting messages if you aren’t told specifically how to do it you’d likely only find it by accident or by discovery.

Previously, you had to rely on the first message of a conversation which would have a timestamp visible before a message, and those would only exist when a significant time had passed between messages being sent and received. The start time including the start date of any messaging conversation still exists at the top of a particular conversation, but now you can get much more precise information with the individual timestamps, making this a great feature inclusion.

On a related note, don’t forget to adjust Messages to show the full contacts name to avoid any confusion when in conversations.

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