Apple quietly updated the "hashflag"icon used for the hashtag "#WWDC21" during the weekend before WWDC itself, changing the "thumbs-up" Tapback graphic from Messages for one showing exclamation points.
The first version of the 2021 hashflag surfaced on June 2, in the form of a Tapback, a reaction that users of the Messages app can make in response to messages with a Haptic Touch gesture. That initial icon used the Tapback with the thumbs up icon, but that has now changed.
The second version, spotted by 9to5Mac on Sunday, adjusts the icon so it is the exclamation Tapback. This time, instead of a thumbs-up icon, the blue speech bubble contains the two exclamation points variant.
When coupled with the rest of the marketing of WWDC using iMessage-style chat bubbles and related graphics, it seems to point to inbound changes to iMessage itself. Reports have also proposed messaging changes will surface during the keynote, possibly in a bid to make the service competitive against Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.
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