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How to make green bubbles easier to read on iPhone

How to make green bubbles easier to read on iPhone


Green bubbles signifying text messages can be tough to parse on iOS. A feature in settings changes the green color for the better.

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An illustration of darker green text message bubbles on iPhone.
Here’s what the darker green bubbles look like.
Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

Apple probably won’t be fixing the green bubble problem anytime soon. But over the weekend, while scrolling Reddit, I found an awesome setting that at least makes green texts a lot easier to read on my iPhone. (Thank you to u/oishiirecipe for sharing the steps!)

By default, any texts you send to a device that doesn’t have iMessage turned on show up as a harsh, bright green bubble. It’s a very obvious signal that you aren’t texting somebody with an Apple device and losing out on things like smoother group chats and snazzy message effects. Frankly, those green texts can also be difficult to parse, something Google has pointed out on its “Get the Message” website.

To make green texts more readable, you’ll have to dive a bit into your iPhone’s settings, but the option is easy to turn on once you know where to look. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap Accessibility
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the Accessibility menu and tap Per-App Settings
  • Tap Add App, and then search for or tap Messages
  • Messages will now appear on the Per-App Settings page. Tap it, then tap Increase Contrast > On

Then hop on over to the Messages app and find the last conversation where you sent texts instead of iMessages. Instead of the neon green, your messages will be a darker forest green, and in my opinion, it looks way better.

A screenshot of a text conversation on iOS. The text message bubbles show up in two different colors of green.
Curiously, while writing this article, the normal and changed colors appeared in the same thread for me, which helps illustrate the differences. (Yes, this is my first variation of the joke I ended up using for our lead image.)
Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge

Note that this setting increases contrast across the Messages app, so you may notice a few other changes as well. iMessages are a much darker blue, for example, and the border around the text input field has a more visible outline. Those don’t bother me, so I’ll probably keep increased contrast on for the much-improved green bubbles.

Now, if only Apple would add support for RCS. We might be waiting a while.