Apple Allows Users to Edit and Unsend Texts in iOS 16

As I got older, I found myself spending a lot more time in one-on-one communication apps, as opposed to social media apps. This primarily means using Apple’s Messages app (which we learned at WWDC 2022 today is getting a huge update) as well as Facebook Messenger, plus a handful of others like Gmail.

Facebook’s messaging product is a way for iPhone and Android users to share a cross-platform messaging experience. When it comes to Apple’s Messages app, however, power users have been practically screaming for certain features for – well, for years, it seems. At the same time, the social network that everyone loves to hate has rolled out a host of solid changes to Facebook Messenger, making it a much more useful little app for me than even the main Facebook product itself.

I like things like the ability to unsend Facebook Messenger missives, as well as the ability to archive messages, Gifs, stickers, and more. And don’t even get me started on Facebook Messenger’s fantastic spam blocking capability. At least in my experience, it’s about 10,000 times better than the spam crap that Apple allows to delete my Messages app.

Unsend text messages in Apple’s Messages app

For many people, the Messages app has actually felt a bit stuck in the past for a while now. Until today, that is. The iPhone maker has ultimately brought long-requested features to messages that users have wanted for so long. As:

  • The ability to edit a message you just sent to someone
  • Users can also now unsend messages. Most importantly, you have a time limit to edit and recall messages. You can only perform either of these actions within 15 minutes of sending
  • Are you busy in the meantime and want to highlight a message you just read, to remind you to reply to it later? Finally, you can do it too.
  • There is also a recovery option for deleted messages. But only up to 30 days after deletion of the message

By the way, color surprised me that Apple, with its over 1 billion active devices worldwide, has finally come to life and added an edit button to its Messages app. Yet Twitter, as usual, is still hesitant on the feature long requested by its own users.

While you can’t “edit” a message in Facebook Messenger after it’s already been sent, the app has allowed users to unsend messages for a little while now. In Facebook’s messaging app, however, you must do so within 10 minutes.

Apple, as noted above, is giving users a bit more time to do this – 15 minutes.

All in all, I think these new features of the Apple Messages app coming with the arrival of iOS 16 this fall will definitely make me use the app more than I currently do. It’s still not where I want it to be. Spam, for example, is out of control. And I think a better message archiving setup would be extremely helpful. But the new features mentioned above, at the end of the day, are a set of welcome and long-awaited updates.


More Apple coverage: For more Apple news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

About Sandra A. Powell

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