How to collaborate on iOS or iPadOS 16

Using Messages, you can easily collaborate on projects in a number of apps using iOS and iPadOS 16, one of the great new features.

Collaborating on projects is typical for both businesses and personal tasks, like parties, grocery lists, and more. You can do so easily with iOS on the best iPhones and iPadOS 16, inviting others to join in and collaborate on a project, sharing ideas and to-do lists without starting a lengthy group message chain. Edits are made directly in the file, so everyone can see them in real-time. It’s a proper way to collaborate seamlessly, and it’s much easier to do than you might think.

How to set up Collaboration on iOS and iPadOS

  1. Choose a file you want to share with others to collaborate on, like an item in Notes.
  2. Tap the Share button in the top menu.
  3. Verify that it shows Collaborate in the drop-down menu. If not, select the Collaborate option.
  4. Tap the name of the person you want to Collaborate with.
  5. If they don’t appear on the list of frequent contacts, select Messages, enter their name, then select when it pops up. (The person or people must be in your contacts). You can also add additional people by typing their names into the address field.
  6. The message window will open, and you’ll see the project ready to send. Send as is, or add a personal note.
  7. Tap the blue arrow on the right to send the message.
  8. The recipient will receive your message.
  9. When they select the file, a prompt will pop up that asks if they want to open it using the proper app (in this case, Notes). Depending on the app or file, they might need to accept your invitation first or join the shared item. Select Open.
  10. As the file is edited, you will see the updates on the other device, often in real time or a few seconds later. A notice will also pop up in the app, indicating edits have been made and even briefly highlighting them for reference.

Note that collaborating requires everybody you want to include uses iMessage on a device running iOS 16 or later, like the new iPhone 14, iPadOS 16 or later, or macOS Ventura. The content must be saved and accessible by others in a place like iCloud Drive. With an iPad, this requires turning iCloud on if it isn’t already.

Collaborating works in Notes, Reminders, Safari, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, and others, making it ideal for both personal and business use.

There’s another quick method to Collaborate as well. If you’re running two apps in split-screen mode, including the file you want to share in one window and the Messages app in the other, you can drag the file to a new message window. Select Collaborate in the pop-up the same way you did above and send.

Whether you’re planning a big party, brainstorming ideas for the next meeting, or collaborating on financial documents, it’s easy to do this through Messages on iPhone and iPad, as well as MacBooks.