Typo-prone texters, rejoice: Apple’s latest iOS now allows users to edit — and even undo — messages sent via iMessage.
If, like me, you need follow-up messages with asterisks to correct errors – or worse, to message the wrong people – iOS 16 comes with an easy solution: just tap on the message you sent, then choose “modify” or “cancel sending”.
Users can edit any message up to five times, and they have 15 minutes to edit the text after sending it. (Apple reportedly decreased this time after reporting that the feature could be abused.) Your recipient will be able to see a history of your changes.
You’ll have even less time to unsend a message – just two minutes – and the recipient’s person will be able to see that you’ve deleted a message.
A few other important notes: Features are only available on Apple devices. They only work when the recipient is another Apple user. And they work best if the person receiving your message also has iOS 16 installed (otherwise users will see a list of each version of the text message you edited).
In other words, messages sent to Android phone users cannot be edited or undone. (Apple doesn’t make iMessage available on other phones, and has long refused to embrace a new text messaging standard called RCS that would allow for more feature-rich conversations with non-Apple users.)
If you find these constraints too restrictive, consider a third-party messaging app: Telegram and Viber have long had the ability to edit messages, and even more services allow users to undo or delete messages, including Instagram, WhatsApp, and Signal. All are available on Apple and Android phones.
The new iOS comes with a host of other features, including customizable lock screens and more sharing options. iPhone users can download the update at any time. iPad users will have to wait until October.