Achtung! Warning! Caveat emptor!  This isn’t a bug, so much as an ill-advised feature.  I’m sure kids will have fun with it, but if you are even somewhat of a responsible adult, this ‘feature’ may get you in trouble.  I personally think its fun, but there is a legitimate gripe to be made in terms of exposing thoughts you may not want exposed.  Read on…

The iOS 8 Messages app (the default texting app that we all use for SMS, iMessages, etc.) allows you to name group conversations that have multiple people in them.  If you are messaging 2 or more friends at once, a ‘group’ is formed.  When scrolling through all the various messaging sessions you may have stored on your phone, group chats are identified by the list of names of the people that are participating in it, which quickly truncates since there simply isn’t much room to display the names of everyone in the thread.  In iOS 8, if you click on the ‘Details’ of the group conversation, it allows you to rename the group to something shorter and more recognizable:

Conveniently rename the group!
Conveniently rename the group!

This is a tremendously helpful feature for when you are trying to keep your various group conversations organized, etc.  But there is a problem.  Whatever you name the group gets broadcasted to everybody in the chat (if they have iOS 8 installed as well)!!!:


Yikes!!!  Be sure to name your group conversations something flattering, otherwise you will have some ‘splainin to do, Lucy…

On the flip side, your group-mates can rename this group to whatever they want, and not only does it get broadcasted to you (as seen above), it also shows up on your phone Messages list!:

Touché, co-workers!
Touché, co-workers!

As you can imagine, this can lead to some fun games.  Or utter embarrassment.  The choice is yours… just be aware of it!

Hopefully Apple adds the option to make your personalized group names private in the future!


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