In Top Gun: Maverick there are a couple of scenes where Maverick uses a smartphone instant messaging app to chat with Iceman.

Is that a real smartphone app or was it just made for the movie?

The only thread I found about something related on reddit does not answer this question.

  • Funny, how we can have questions like "Is the Unix operating system featured in Jurassic Park real?", but this one is quickly closed. Can someone explain the difference (apart from the age)?
    – Joachim
    Oct 16, 2022 at 21:45
  • @Joachim If the question here were "is this a real app?" then it would be much more justified as asking about realism, which is exactly why the Jurassic Park question is on topic. "What app is this?" is clearly an identification question, the same way that "what build of UNIX is this?" would have been off topic. Oct 17, 2022 at 0:55
  • @ToddWilcox I was considering that as well. So rephrasing this question as "is this app real?" will very likely get the OP their answer in a slightly roundabout way without fear of it getting closed.
    – Joachim
    Oct 17, 2022 at 7:24
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    Thanks for the tip @Joachim, edited question as per suggestion.
    – Vance
    Oct 17, 2022 at 15:15
  • Didn't downvote or VTC, but playing devil's advocate here. Now rephrased, this is simply asking for a simple answer, either Yes or No. And really, it's a sly way to phrase this question to start a discussion about it. Personally I think this is trite trivia. Oct 20, 2022 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


Consider this.
Camera all set, waiting for this new message to come in so the audience can read it. The shot wasn't quite in focus, or there's a funny reflection on the screen, or we just don't quite like how it was framed.
OK, let's go for take two… now, how do we get rid of that message & send it again, just when we need it on camera?

Answer… use a mock app which quite possibly is just running video & not a messaging service at all.
Watch how quickly people are capable of replying to such as this too, whilst apparently having only half an eye on what they're doing - never a typo to be seen.

It is unimportant, other than for product placement, copyright or advertising concerns, whether it is a copy of a real app or not. Watch any show on Apple TV & spot the Android or Windows PC… never going to happen unless it's a 'baddie'.

Here's a practical guide to how you can even do this yourself to turn an apparent text conversation into a movie you can play back on-screen - https://www.kapwing.com/resources/how-to-make-a-fake-texting-story-video/

  • 3
    I hope the fly-by downvoter is hard at work adding their answer with a reasonable alternative theory of how they manage to do this kind of thing in movies...
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 17, 2022 at 12:51
  • Thanks Tetsujin - about It is unimportant, other than for product placement, copyright or advertising concerns, whether it is a copy of a real app or not. I had a real interest as to whether it was a real app for professional reasons. I don't think I could have really asked this question in a SE such as SuperUser without getting it closed as off-topic. This SE seemed the most suitable.
    – Vance
    Oct 17, 2022 at 15:09
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    It just becomes a trivia question if all you want to know is what app it is [which is what the close votes all say so far]. Wanting to know the technique used in movies to portray texting is, however, a valid question.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 17, 2022 at 15:58
  • To be fair, I previously asked a well-received question about the flip-phone Tony Stark is using when he gets hit with shrapnel in Iron Man 1. Oct 18, 2022 at 12:56
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    I'd be willing to bet there's nothing on the phone at all, except green paint. The screen content is probably added later in post. Oct 21, 2022 at 16:12

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