Messages extensions is a topic that covers both apps that run within the Message app and Sticker Packs. This video explains the possibilities and limitations of creating messages extensions.
So let's talk about messages extensions. In the messages extensions umbrella, there are two main types of applications. There are sticker packs, and extension apps. Sticker packs refer to just art. They are graphic files that you provide that can be placed on top of ios 10 messages. Sticker packs are simply applications that you can send to Apple, without ever having to write any code.
They're code free apps and you just provide the art at the appropriate sizes. That's really all there is to say about sticker packs. So most of this course is going to be focused on the other type of messages extensions which are extension apps. And messages extension app runs within the messages application. To go into more detail about messages extensions, they are apps or games that are played inside of the messages app.
So you can think of them as mini apps. If you make a game, you actually do have the option of using sprite kit. Though you'll have to customize the view controllers yourself, the technology is there and available. Next, messages extensions support two or more participants in a messages conversation. So you can already have a conversation going with somebody, and then go to your extension app and start playing the game or playing a collaborative note or running whatever messages extension that you create, with another person or more people than that if you want.
Now in order to make a message from an extension, you need to use ios 10 or greater. But if you want to read a message, you could be using ios nine, or mac os. A messages extension can be a standalone app, or a companion to a full app. So unlike other extensions in ios, you don't have to have a full app to create a messages extension. Finally let's go over the limitation of messages extensions. You're going to run into layout size issues early on.
Before going into your app in the full messages view, you're going to present your app in a compact view. This runs inside of the messages app, and it's where the keyboard is in ios. And for that reason, when your app is in this compact size, you're not allowed to take text input. So if you put a text field when your app is in that view size and the user clicks on the text field or taps it, it's going to crash your messages extension. So you need to be aware of that when you're creating that, you can only have text input when your app is taking up the full messages area.
We'll talk more about compact views and expanded views later on in the course. Something else to keep in mind is that unlike full ios applications, your messages app opens and closes when it's being used. So if the user taps on the message that you sent through your messages extension, the messages extension opens for that user, they send the message back to you, and then if they go out of the messages app, or go out of your application, that closes the messages extension.
So it does not run in the background like a standard ios app. Because it's an appendage to an existing app which is the messages app. So to review, messages extensions covers the topic of sticker packs which are art only applications that require no code whatsoever, and messages extensions which are mini applications which come with some limitations and run inside of the messages app inside ios 10.
- Setting up Messages extensions
- Showing multiple view controllers
- Creating delegate methods
- Preparing a message URL
- Opening an extension from a message
- Combining messages into one bubble
- Identifying the user in a conversation
- Opening a host app from an extension
- Creating a sticker pack
- Adding stickers in a Messages extension