Understanding the iMessage Ellipsis | iPhone Savvy

Understanding the iMessage Ellipsis

Make sure you don’t give the false impression you’re replying to a message—when you’re not.

We’ve all had it happen—you’re anxiously awaiting a response to a message, staring at the three dots that indicate the person is typing—and no message is received.


It’s especially frustrating if you’re waiting a long time, only to receive a reply of "ya" or something equally cryptic.

Understanding how the iMessage ellipsis works can alleviate that frustration.

  • The iMessage ellipsis does not mean that a message is incoming, it means at least one character was typed by the sender.
  • Even if the sender typed a character by accident, closed the app and moved on to something else, the iMessage ellipsis will show for 60 seconds. 
  • When sending a message, as long as the text box shows ‘iMessage’, the message recipient will not see the iMessage ellipsis. 
  • It is also reported that the iMessage ellipsis can falsely appear if you have a slow connection or bad reception, but this is not verified by Apple.  


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