iPhone messaging secret lets you type 'pew pew' to send a laser light show

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’ve exhausted your streaming services, cleaned the house two times over and need something new to occupy your time, iPhone users can type “pew pew” to their iOS friends and amuse them with lasers – or just as easily annoy them.

In a sure sign that cabin fever is getting to us, it’s recently come to the internet’s attention that typing “pew pew” makes lasers appear, though really, iPhone users have been able to do this for some time – we’ve just never been bored enough to find it.

In fact, iMessage has a number of screen effects hidden up its sleeve that perhaps you’ve already stumbled across: balloons float up from the bottom of the screen if you wish someone a “happy birthday”, fireworks will burst across the message if you say “happy new year” and colorful confetti falls if you type “congratulations”.

iMessage showing red laser text effect

(Image credit: Future)

The “pew pew” laser effect is the odd one out here, not least because the lasers look less like the Star Wars-eque shooting lasers you’d expect and more like a cheesy laser light show from the early 2000s.

It turns out iPhone users can add effects to any of their iMessages – just type your message and then hold down the little blue arrow you hit to send. You’ll be presented with plenty of options other than what we’ve mentioned above, such as a spotlight effect or a shooting star.

While we may be separated from our friends and family by distance, it doesn’t mean we can’t amuse them from afar… before seriously getting on their nerves.

Jasmine Gearie
Ecommerce Editor

Jasmine Gearie was previously an Ecommerce Editor at TechRadar Australia, with a primary focus on helping readers find the best mobile and NBN plans. During her time with TechRadar, she also reported on important telco news in Australia, and helped track down tech deals to help readers save money.